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Crypto Banking Wars: Can BlockFi & Celsius Disrupt Banking?
These crypto lending & borrowing services found early traction. Are they capable of bundling more financial services and winning the broader consumer finance market? https://reddit.com/link/icps9l/video/98kl1y596zh51/player This is the third part ofCrypto Banking Wars— a new series that examines what crypto-native company is most likely to become thebank of the future. Who is best positioned toreach mainstream adoptionin consumer finance? While crypto allows the world to get rid of banks, a bank will still very much be necessary for this verypowerfultechnology to reach the masses. As we laid out in our previous series, Crypto-Powered, we believe a crypto-native company will ultimately become the bank of the future. We’re confident Genesis Block will have a seat at that table, but we aren’t the only game in town. In the first post of this series, we did an analysis of big crypto exchanges like Coinbase & Binance. In our second episode, we looked at the world of non-custodial wallets. Today we’re analyzing crypto lending & borrowing services. The Earn and Borrow use-case covers a lot of what traditional banks deliver today. This category of companies is a threat worth analyzing. As we look at this market, we’ll mostly be focused on custodial, centralized products like BlockFi, Nexo, and Celsius. Many of these companies found early traction among crypto users. Are they capable of bundling more financial services and winning the broader consumer finance market? Let’s find out.
Because speculation and trading remains one of the most popular use-cases of crypto, a new crypto sub-industry around credit has emerged. Much of the borrowing demand has been driven by institutional needs. For example, a Bitcoin mining company might need to borrow fiat to pay for operational costs (salaries, electricity). Or a crypto company might need to borrow USD to pay for engineering salaries. Or a crypto hedge fund needs to borrow for leverage or to take a specific market position. While all of these companies have sufficient crypto to cover the costs, they might not want to sell it — either for tax or speculative reasons (they may believe these crypto assets will appreciate, as with most in the industry). Instead of selling their crypto, these companies can use their crypto as collateral for loans. For example, they can provide $1.5M in Bitcoin as collateral, and borrow $1M. Given the collateralization happening, the underwriting process becomes straightforward. Companies all around the world can participate — language and cultural barriers are removed. https://preview.redd.it/z9pby83d6zh51.png?width=600&format=png&auto=webp&s=54bf425215c3ed6d5ff0ca7dbe571e735b994613 The leader (and one of our partners) in this space is Genesis Capital. While they are always the counterparty for both lenders and borrowers, they are effectively a broker. They are at the center of the institutional crypto lending & borrowing markets. Their total active loans as of March 2020 was $649M. That number shot up to $1.42B in active loans as of June 2020. The growth of this entire market segment is impressive and it’s what is driving this opportunity for consumers downstream.
While most of the borrowing demand comes from institutional players, there is a growing desire from consumers to participate on the lend/supply side of the market. Crypto consumers would love to be able to deposit their assets with a service and watch it grow. Why let crypto assets sit on an exchange or in cold storage when it can be earning interest? A number of consumer-facing products have emerged in the last few years to make this happen. While they also allow users to borrow (always with collateral), most of the consumer attraction is around growing their crypto, even while they sleep. Earning interest. These products usually partner with institutional players like Genesis Capital to match the deposits with borrowing demand. And it’s exactly part of our strategy as well, beyond leveraging DeFi (decentralized finance protocols). A few of the most popular consumer services in this category include BlockFi, Nexo, and Celsius. https://preview.redd.it/vptig5mg6zh51.png?width=1051&format=png&auto=webp&s=b5fdc241cb9b6f5b495173667619f8d2c93371ca
BlockFi (Crunchbase) is the leader in this category (at least in the West). They are well-capitalized. In August 2019, they raised $18.3M in their Series A. In Feb 2020, they raised $30M in their Series B. In that same time period, they went from $250M in assets under management to $650M. In a recent blog post, they announced that they saw a 100% revenue increase in Q2 and that they were on track to do $50M in revenue this year. Their growth is impressive. BlockFi did not do an ICO, unlike Celsius, Nexo, Salt, and Cred. BlockFi has a lot of institutional backing so it is perceived as the most reputable in the space. BlockFi started with borrowing — allowing users to leverage their crypto as collateral and taking out a loan against it. They later got into Earning — allowing users to deposit assets and earn interest on it. They recently expanded their service to “exchange” functionality and say they are coming out with a credit card later this year. https://preview.redd.it/byv2tbui6zh51.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=bac080dcfc85e89574c30dfb396db0b537d46706 Security Woes It’s incredible that BlockFi has been able to see such strong growth despite their numerous product and security woes. A few months ago, their systems were compromised. A hacker was able to access confidential data, such as names, dates of birth, postal addresses, and activity histories. While no funds were lost, this was a massive embarrassment and caused reputational damage. https://preview.redd.it/lwmxbz5l6zh51.png?width=606&format=png&auto=webp&s=ebd8e6e5c31c56da055824254b35b218b49f80e0 Unrelated to that massive security breach and earlier in the year, a user discovered a major bug that allowed him to send the same funds to himself over and over again, ultimately accumulating more than a million dollars in his BlockFi account. BlockFi fortunately caught him just before withdrawal. Poor Product Execution Beyond their poor security — which they are now trying to get serious about — their products are notoriously buggy and hard-to-use. I borrowed from them a year ago and used their interest account product until very recently. I have first-hand experience of how painful it is. But don’t take my word for it… here are just a few tweets from customers just recently. https://preview.redd.it/wcqu3icn6zh51.png?width=1055&format=png&auto=webp&s=870e2f06a6ec377a87e5d6d1f24579a901de66b5 For a while, their interest-earning product had a completely different authentication system than their loan product (users had two sets of usernames/passwords). Many people have had issues with withdrawals. The app is constantly logging people out, blank screens, ugly error messages. Emails with verification codes are sometimes delayed by hours (or days). I do wonder if their entire app has been outsourced. The sloppiness shines through. Not only is their product buggy and UX confusing, but their branding & design is quite weak. To the left is a t-shirt they once sent me. It looks like they just found a bunch of quirky fonts, added their name, and slapped it on a t-shirt. https://preview.redd.it/mi6yeppp6zh51.png?width=600&format=png&auto=webp&s=fd4cd8201ad0d5bc667498096388377895b72953 Culture To the innocent bystander, many of these issues seem totally fixable. They could hire an amazing design agency to completely revamp their product or brand. They could hire a mercenary group of engineers to fix their bugs, etc. While it could stop the bleeding for a time, it may not solve the underlying issues. Years of sloppy product execution represents something much more destructive. It represents a top-down mentality that shipping anything other than excellence is okay: product experience doesn’t matter; design doesn’t matter; craftsmanship doesn’t matter; strong execution doesn’t matter; precision doesn’t matter. That’s very different from our culture at Genesis Block. This cancerous mentality rarely stays contained within product & engineering — this leaks to all parts of the organization. No design agency or consulting firm will fix some of the pernicious values of a company’s soul. These are deeper issues that only leadership can course-correct. If BlockFi’s sloppiness were due to constant experimentation, iteration, shipping, or some “move fast and break things” hacker culture… like Binance… I would probably cut them more slack. But there is zero evidence of that. “Move fast and break things” is always scary when dealing with financial products. But in BlockFi’s case, when it’s more like “move slow and break things,” they are really playing with fire. Next time a massive security breach occurs, like what happened earlier this year, they may not be so lucky. Institutional Focus Based on who is on their team, their poor product execution shouldn’t be a surprise. Their team comes mostly from Wall Street, not the blockchain community (where our roots are). Most of BlockFi’s blockchain/crypto integration is very superficial. They take crypto assets as deposits, but they aren’t leveraging any of the exciting, low-level DeFi protocols like we are. While their Wall Street heritage isn’t doing them any favors on the product/tech side, it’s served them very well on winning institutional clients. This is perhaps their greatest strength. BlockFi has a strong institutional business. They recently brought on Three Arrows Capital as a strategic investor — a crypto hedge fund who does a lot of borrowing. In that announcement, BlockFi’s founder said that bringing them on “aligns well with our focus on international expansion of our institutional services offering.” They also recently brought someone on who will lead business development in Asia among institutional clients. BlockFi Wrap Up There are certainly BlockFi features that overlap with Genesis Block’s offering. It’s possible that they are angling to become the bank of the future. However, they simply have not proven they are capable of designing, building, and launching world-class consumer products. They’ve constantly had issues around security and poor product execution. Their company account and their founder’s account seem to onlytweetaboutBitcoin. I don’t think they understand, appreciate, or value the power of DeFi. It’s unlikely they’ll be leveraging it any time soon. All of these reasons are why I don’t see them as a serious threat to Genesis Block. However, because of their strong institutional offering, I hope that Genesis Block will ultimately have a very collaborative and productive partnership with them. Assuming they figure out their security woes, we could park some of our funds with BlockFi (just as we will with Genesis Capital and others). I think what’s likely to happen is that we’ll corner the consumer market and we’ll work closely with BlockFi on the institutional side. I’ve been hard on BlockFi because I care. I think they have a great opportunity at helping elevate the entire industry in a positive way. But they have a lot of issues they need to work through. I really don’t want to see users lose millions of dollars in a security breach. It could set back the entire industry. But if they do things well… a rising tide lifts all boats.
While many companies in this category seem to be slowly adding more financial services, I don’t believe any of them are focused on the broader consumer market like we are. To use services like BlockFi, Nexo, or Celsius, users need to be onboarded and educated on how crypto works. At Genesis Block, we don’t believe that’s the winning approach. We think blockchain complexity should be abstracted away from the end-user. We did an entire series about this, Spreading Crypto. For many of these services, there is additional friction due to ICO tokens that are forcefully integrated into the product (see NEXO token or CEL Token). None of these services have true banking functionality or integration with traditional finance —for example, easy offramp or spending methods like debit cards. None of them are taking DeFi seriously — they are leveraging crypto for only the asset class, not the underlying technology around financial protocols. So are these companies potential competitors to Genesis Block? For the crypto crowd, yes. For the mass market, no. None of these companies are capable of reaching the billions of people around the world that we hope to reach at Genesis Block. ------ Other Ways to Consume Today's Episode:
List of bitcoin person-to-person (P2P) bitcoin exchanges (e.g., Bisq, HodlHodl, LocalCoinSwap, etc.)
Following is a list of P2P exchanges for trading Bitcoin. Common payment methods include bank transfer, cash deposited in the seller's bank account, in-person cash (face-to-face) trades as well as payment networks such as Zelle, Alipay, even Cash App and PayPal, for example. Any that I am missing?
Google's search for Bitcoin Coronavirus overtake Bitcoin halving 2020
Halving bitcoin is a short-term trend due to hyped feelings. Google trend data and price reactions suggest that halving could be an overly hyped incident. In addition, the interest in "Bitcoin Coronavirus" has halved given the safe perspective. The five-year graph of Google trends and price trends indicate that the mood and online search peakedduring the halving (July 9, 2016) and fell almost instantly over the next few weeks. In addition, the price had taken a downward turn weeks before halving. Coincidentally, the small increase in the trend before the moon shot rise coincides with the price peak. Therefore, after a certain point, there was an inverse correlation between online sentiments and price The "Google trend" for the keyword "Bitcoin halving" appears to be falling again, indicating that the bull run may be priced in in half. If we look at the top five capitalized altcoins - Ethereum, Ripple (XRP), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin SV (BSV) - we see that the volume of search traffic largely matches the order of each crypto correlates assets by market cap - with the exception of “Litecoin”, which has more searches than “Bitcoin Cash”. One of the biggest barriers to entry for disruptive technology is the incompetence of the average consumer. On the other hand, simply chasing consumer illiteracy can be a blessing for some really terrible inventions. In the clash of these two ideologies, we have reached the dumb currency singularity. The digital currency has been on the way to dumb singularity for more than a decade, and we finally crossed the event horizon at the end of last year. At the end of 2019, the IRS tacitly published a series of guidelines for virtual currencies, in which common cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum were combined with Fortnite V-Bucks and Roblox Money. I have just been informed that the legal term for the Roblox currency is "Robux". That seems ... fair. My point, however cumbersome, is that someone who has had some influence with the United States Internal Revenue Service saw his grandchild begging for a Roblox card at the Walgreens cash register and thought, "MY GOD, THE BITCOINS COME FOR THE CHILDREN. " And then, when he expressed his horror, a phalanx of IRS colleagues looked around enough and thought "Yes, that sounds right" that it was lit green for public consumption. This recommendation (on which the IRS claimed that Fortnite and Roblox players should report all purchases of "Bucks", be it "V" or "Ro" -) was monolithic for almost three months before being as quiet as off the stage was escorted it had arrived. In a bout of Streisand, this change attracted more attention than the addition initially, and the IRS made a formal statement. "The IRS recognizes that the language on our side may be of concern to some taxpayers," they said. "We changed the language to avoid confusion. Transactions in virtual currencies as part of a game that does not leave the game environment (virtual currencies that are not convertible) do not require a taxpayer to state this in their tax returns." "
A Beginners Guide to Bitcoin, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency
As cryptocurrency, and blockchain technology become more abundant throughout our society, it’s important to understand the inner workings of this technology, especially if you plan to use cryptocurrency as an investment vehicle. If you’re new to the crypto-sphere, learning about Bitcoin makes it much easier to understand other cryptocurrencies as many other altcoins' technologies are borrowed directly from Bitcoin. Bitcoin is one of those things that you look into only to discover you have more questions than answers, and right as you’re starting to wrap your head around the technology; you discover the fact that Bitcoin has six other variants (forks), the amount of politics at hand, or that there are over a thousand different cryptocurrencies just as complex if not even more complex than Bitcoin. We are currently in the infancy of blockchain technology and the effects of this technology will be as profound as the internet. This isn’t something that’s just going to fade away into history as you may have been led to believe. I believe this is something that will become an integral part of our society, eventually embedded within our technology. If you’re a crypto-newbie, be glad that you're relatively early to the industry. I hope this post will put you on the fast-track to understanding Bitcoin, blockchain, and how a large percentage of cryptocurrencies work.
Altcoin: Short for alternative coin. There are over 1,000 different cryptocurrencies. You’re probably most familiar with Bitcoin. Anything that isn’t Bitcoin is generally referred to as an altcoin. HODL: Misspelling of hold. Dank meme accidentally started by this dude. Hodlers are much more interested in long term gains rather than playing the risky game of trying to time the market. TO THE MOON: When a cryptocurrency’s price rapidly increases. A major price spike of over 1,000% can look like it’s blasting off to the moon. Just be sure you’re wearing your seatbelt when it comes crashing down. FUD: Fear. Uncertainty. Doubt. FOMO: Fear of missing out. Bull Run: Financial term used to describe a rising market. Bear Run: Financial term used to describe a falling market.
What Is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin (BTC) is a decentralized digital currency that uses cryptography to secure and ensure validity of transactions within the network. Hence the term crypto-currency. Decentralization is a key aspect of Bitcoin. There is no CEO of Bitcoin or central authoritative government in control of the currency. The currency is ran and operated by the people, for the people. One of the main development teams behind Bitcoin is blockstream. Bitcoin is a product of blockchain technology. Blockchain is what allows for the security and decentralization of Bitcoin. To understand Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, you must understand to some degree, blockchain. This can get extremely technical the further down the rabbit hole you go, and because this is technically a beginners guide, I’m going to try and simplify to the best of my ability and provide resources for further technical reading.
A Brief History
Bitcoin was created by Satoshi Nakamoto. The identity of Nakamoto is unknown. The idea of Bitcoin was first introduced in 2008 when Nakamoto released the Bitcoin white paper - Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System. Later, in January 2009, Nakamoto announced the Bitcoin software and the Bitcoin network officially began. I should also mention that the smallest unit of a Bitcoin is called a Satoshi. 1 BTC = 100,000,000 Satoshis. When purchasing Bitcoin, you don’t actually need to purchase an entire coin. Bitcoin is divisible, so you can purchase any amount greater than 1 Satoshi (0.00000001 BTC).
What Is Blockchain?
Blockchain is a distributed ledger, a distributed collection of accounts. What is being accounted for depends on the use-case of the blockchain itself. In the case of Bitcoin, what is being accounted for is financial transactions. The first block in a blockchain is referred to as the genesis block. A block is an aggregate of data. Blocks are also discovered through a process known as mining (more on this later). Each block is cryptographically signed by the previous block in the chain and visualizing this would look something akin to a chain of blocks, hence the term, blockchain. For more information regarding blockchain I’ve provided more resouces below:
Bitcoin mining is one solution to the double spend problem. Bitcoin mining is how transactions are placed into blocks and added onto the blockchain. This is done to ensure proof of work, where computational power is staked in order to solve what is essentially a puzzle. If you solve the puzzle correctly, you are rewarded Bitcoin in the form of transaction fees, and the predetermined block reward. The Bitcoin given during a block reward is also the only way new Bitcoin can be introduced into the economy. With a halving event occurring roughly every 4 years, it is estimated that the last Bitcoin block will be mined in the year 2,140. (See What is Block Reward below for more info). Mining is one of those aspects of Bitcoin that can get extremely technical and more complicated the further down the rabbit hole you go. An entire website could be created (and many have) dedicated solely to information regarding Bitcoin mining. The small paragraph above is meant to briefly expose you to the function of mining and the role it plays within the ecosystem. It doesn’t even scratch the surface regarding the topic.
How do you Purchase Bitcoin?
The most popular way to purchase Bitcoin through is through an online exchange where you trade fiat (your national currency) for Bitcoin. Popular exchanges include:
There’s tons of different exchanges. Just make sure you find one that supports your national currency.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are EXTREMELY volatile. Swings of 30% or more within a few days is not unheard of. Understand that there is always inherent risks with any investment. Cryptocurrencies especially. Only invest what you’re willing to lose.
Transaction & Network Fees
Transacting on the Bitcoin network is not free. Every purchase or transfer of Bitcoin will cost X amount of BTC depending on how congested the network is. These fees are given to miners as apart of the block reward. Late 2017 when Bitcoin got up to $20,000USD, the average network fee was ~$50. Currently, at the time of writing this, the average network fee is $1.46. This data is available in real-time on BitInfoCharts.
In this new era of money, there is no central bank or government you can go to in need of assistance. This means the responsibility of your money falls 100% into your hands. That being said, the security regarding your cryptocurrency should be impeccable. The anonymity provided by cryptocurrencies alone makes you a valuable target to hackers and scammers. Below I’ve detailed out best practices regarding securing your cryptocurrency.
Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
Two-factor authentication is a second way of authenticating your identity upon signing in to an account. Most cryptocurrency related software/websites will offer or require some form of 2FA. Upon creation of any crypto-related account find the Security section and enable 2FA.
The most basic form of 2FA which you are probably most familiar with. This form of authentication sends a text message to your smartphone with a special code that will allow access to your account upon entry. Note that this is not the safest form of 2FA as you may still be vulnerable to what is known as a SIM swap attack. SIM swapping is a social engineering method in which an attacker will call up your phone carrier, impersonating you, in attempt to re-activate your SIM card on his/her device. Once the attacker has access to your SIM card he/she now has access to your text messages which can then be used to access your online accounts. You can prevent this by using an authenticator such as Google Authenticator.
The use of an authenticator is the safest form of 2FA. An authenticator is installed on a seperate device and enabling it requires you input an ever changing six digit code in order to access your account. I recommend using Google Authenticator. If a website has the option to enable an authenticator, it will give you a QR code and secret key. Use Google Authenticator to scan the QR code. The secret key consists of a random string of numbers and letters. Write this down on a seperate sheet of paper and do not store it on a digital device. Once Google Authenticator has been enabled, every time you sign into your account, you will have to input a six-digit code that looks similar to this. If you happen to lose or damage the device you have Google Authenticator installed on, you will be locked out of your account UNLESS you have access to the secret key (which you should have written down).
A wallet is what you store Bitcoin and cryptocurrency on. I’ll provide resources on the different type of wallets later but I want to emphasize the use of a hardware wallet (aka cold storage). Hardware wallets are the safest way of storing cryptocurrency because it allows for your crypto to be kept offline in a physical device. After purchasing crypto via an exchange, I recommend transferring it to cold storage. The most popular hardware wallets include the Ledger Nano S, and Trezor. Hardware wallets come with a special key so that if it gets lost or damaged, you can recover your crypto. I recommend keeping your recovery key as well as any other sensitive information in a safety deposit box. I know this all may seem a bit manic, but it is important you take the necessary security precautions in order to ensure the safety & longevity of your cryptocurrency.
Technical Aspects of Bitcoin
Address: What you send Bitcoin to.
Wallet: Where you store your Bitcoin
Max Supply: 21 million
Block Time: ~10 minutes
Block Size: 1-2 MB
Block Reward: BTC reward received from mining.
What is a Bitcoin Address?
A Bitcoin address is what you send Bitcoin to. If you want to receive Bitcoin you’d give someone your Bitcoin address. Think of a Bitcoin address as an email address for money.
What is a Bitcoin Wallet?
As the title implies, a Bitcoin wallet is anything that can store Bitcoin. There are many different types of wallets including paper wallets, software wallets and hardware wallets. It is generally advised NOT to keep cryptocurrency on an exchange, as exchanges are prone to hacks (see Mt. Gox hack). My preferred method of storing cryptocurrency is using a hardware wallet such as the Ledger Nano S or Trezor. These allow you to keep your crypto offline in physical form and as a result, much more safe from hacks. Paper wallets also allow for this but have less functionality in my opinion. After I make crypto purchases, I transfer it to my Ledger Nano S and keep that in a safe at home. Hardware wallets also come with a special key so that if it gets lost or damaged, you can recover your crypto. I recommend keeping your recovery key in a safety deposit box.
What is Bitcoins Max Supply?
The max supply of Bitcoin is 21 million. The only way new Bitcoins can be introduced into the economy are through block rewards which are given after successfully mining a block (more on this later).
What is Bitcoins Block Time?
The average time in which blocks are created is called block time. For Bitcoin, the block time is ~10 minutes, meaning, 10 minutes is the minimum amount of time it will take for a Bitcoin transaction to be processed. Note that transactions on the Bitcoin network can take much longer depending on how congested the network is. Having to wait a few hours or even a few days in some instances for a transaction to clear is not unheard of. Other cryptocurrencies will have different block times. For example, Ethereum has a block time of ~15 seconds. For more information on how block time works, Prabath Siriwardena has a good block post on this subject which can be found here.
What is Bitcoins Block Size?
There is a limit to how large blocks can be. In the early days of Bitcoin, the block size was 36MB, but in 2010 this was reduced to 1 MB in order to prevent distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS), spam, and other malicious use on the blockchain. Nowadays, blocks are routinely in excess of 1MB, with the largest to date being somewhere around 2.1 MB. There is much debate amongst the community on whether or not to increase Bitcoin’s block size limit to account for ever-increasing network demand. A larger block size would allow for more transactions to be processed. The con argument to this is that decentralization would be at risk as mining would become more centralized. As a result of this debate, on August 1, 2017, Bitcoin underwent a hard-fork and Bitcoin Cash was created which has a block size limit of 8 MB. Note that these are two completely different blockchains and sending Bitcoin to a Bitcoin Cash wallet (or vice versa) will result in a failed transaction. Update: As of May 15th, 2018 Bitcoin Cash underwent another hard fork and the block size has increased to 32 MB. On the topic of Bitcoin vs Bitcoin Cash and which cryptocurrency is better, I’ll let you do your own research and make that decision for yourself. It is good to know that this is a debated topic within the community and example of the politics that manifest within the space. Now if you see community members arguing about this topic, you’ll at least have a bit of background to the issue.
What is Block Reward?
Block reward is the BTC you receive after discovering a block. Blocks are discovered through a process called mining. The only way new BTC can be added to the economy is through block rewards and the block reward is halved every 210,000 blocks (approximately every 4 years). Halving events are done to limit the supply of Bitcoin. At the inception of Bitcoin, the block reward was 50BTC. At the time of writing this, the block reward is 12.5BTC. Halving events will continue to occur until the amount of new Bitcoin introduced into the economy becomes less than 1 Satoshi. This is expected to happen around the year 2,140. All 21 million Bitcoins will have been mined. Once all Bitcoins have been mined, the block reward will only consist of transaction fees.
Any computer that connects to the Bitcoin network is called a node. Nodes that fully verify all of the rules of Bitcoin are called full nodes.
In other words, full nodes are what verify the Bitcoin blockchain and they play a crucial role in maintaining the decentralized network. Full nodes store the entirety of the blockchain and validate transactions. Anyone can participate in the Bitcoin network and run a full node. Bitcoin.org has information on how to set up a full node. Running a full node also gives you wallet capabilities and the ability to query the blockchain. For more information on Bitcoin nodes, see Andreas Antonopoulos’s Q&A on the role of nodes.
What is a Fork?
A fork is a divergence in a blockchain. Since Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer network, there’s an overall set of rules (protocol) in which participants within the network must abide by. These rules are put in place to form network consensus. Forks occur when implementations must be made to the blockchain or if there is disagreement amongst the network on how consensus should be achieved.
Soft Fork vs Hard Fork
The difference between soft and hard forks lies in compatibility. Soft forks are backwards compatible, hard forks are not. Think of soft forks as software upgrades to the blockchain, whereas hard forks are a software upgrade that warrant a completely new blockchain. During a soft fork, miners and nodes upgrade their software to support new consensus rules. Nodes that do not upgrade will still accept the new blockchain. Examples of Bitcoin soft forks include:
A hard fork can be thought of as the creation of a new blockchain that X percentage of the community decides to migrate too. During a hard fork, miners and nodes upgrade their software to support new consensus rules, Nodes that do not upgrade are invalid and cannot accept the new blockchain. Examples of Bitcoin hard forks include:
Note that these are completely different blockchains and independent from the Bitcoin blockchain. If you try to send Bitcoin to one of these blockchains, the transaction will fail.
A Case For Bitcoin in a World of Centralization
Our current financial system is centralized, which means the ledger(s) that operate within this centralized system are subjugated to control, manipulation, fraud, and many other negative aspects that come with this system. There are also pros that come with a centralized system, such as the ability to swiftly make decisions. However, at some point, the cons outweigh the pros, and change is needed. What makes Bitcoin so special as opposed to our current financial system is that Bitcoin allows for the decentralized transfer of money. Not one person owns the Bitcoin network, everybody does. Not one person controls Bitcoin, everybody does. A decentralized system in theory removes much of the baggage that comes with a centralized system. Not to say the Bitcoin network doesn’t have its problems (wink wink it does), and there’s much debate amongst the community as to how to go about solving these issues. But even tiny steps are significant steps in the world of blockchain, and I believe Bitcoin will ultimately help to democratize our financial system, whether or not you believe it is here to stay for good.
Well that was a lot of words… Anyways I hope this guide was beneficial, especially to you crypto newbies out there. You may have come into this realm not expecting there to be an abundance of information to learn about. I know I didn’t. Bitcoin is only the tip of the iceberg, but now that you have a fundamental understanding of Bitcoin, learning about other cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin, and Ethereum will come more naturally. Feel free to ask questions below! I’m sure either the community or myself would be happy to answer your questions. Thanks for reading!
I wrote a 30,000 ft. "executive summary" intro document for cryptos. Not for you, for your non-technical parents or friends.
This document was originally written for my dad, an intelligent guy who was utterly baffled about the cryptocurrency world. The aim was to be extremely concise, giving a broad overview of the industry and some popular coins while staying non-technical. For many of you there will be nothing new here, but recognize that you are in the 0.001% of the population heavily into crypto technology. I've reproduced it for Reddit below, or you can find the original post here on my website. Download the PDF there or hit the direct link: .PDF version. Donations happily accepted:
This document is purely informational. At the time of writing there are over 1000 cryptocurrencies (“cryptos”) in a highly volatile, high risk market. Many of the smaller “altcoins” require significant technical knowledge to store and transact safely. I advise you to carefully scrutinize each crypto’s flavor of blockchain, potential utility, team of developers, and guiding philosophy, before making any investment  decisions. With that out of the way, what follows are brief, extremely high-level summaries of some cryptos which have my interest, listed in current market cap order. But first, some info: Each crypto is a different implementation of a blockchain network. Originally developed as decentralized digital cash, these technologies have evolved into much broader platforms, powering the future of decentralized applications across every industry in the global economy. Without getting into the weeds,  most cryptos work on similar principles: Distributed Ledgers Each node on a blockchain network has a copy of every transaction, which enables a network of trust that eliminates fraud.  Decentralized “Miners” comprise the infrastructure of a blockchain network.  They are monetarily incentivized to add computing power to the network, simultaneously securing and processing each transaction.  Peer-to-peer Cryptos act like digital cash-- they require no third party to transact and are relatively untraceable. Unlike cash, you can back them up. Global Transactions are processed cheaply and instantly, anywhere on Earth. Using cryptos, an African peasant and a San Francisco engineer have the same access to capital, markets, and network services. Secure Blockchains are predicated on the same cryptographic technology that secures your sensitive data and government secrets. They have passed seven years of real-world penetration testing with no failures. 
The first cryptocurrency. As with first movers in any technology, there are associated pros and cons. Bitcoin has by far the strongest brand recognition and deepest market penetration, and it is the only crypto which can be used directly as a currency at over 100,000 physical and web stores around the world. In Venezuela and Zimbabwe, where geopolitical events have created hyperinflation in the centralized fiat currency, citizens have moved to Bitcoin as a de facto transaction standard.  However, Bitcoin unveiled a number of issues that have been solved by subsequent cryptos. It is experiencing significant scaling issues, resulting in high fees and long confirmation times. The argument over potential solutions created a rift in the Bitcoin developer community, who “forked” the network into two separate blockchains amidst drama and politicking in October 2017. Potential solutions to these issues abound, with some already in place, and others nearing deployment. Bitcoin currently has the highest market cap, and since it is easy to buy with fiat currency, the price of many smaller cryptos (“altcoins”) are loosely pegged to its price. This will change in the coming year(s).
Where Bitcoin is a currency, Ethereum is a platform, designed as a foundational protocol on which to develop decentralized applications (“Dapps”). Anyone can write code and deploy their program on the global network for extremely low fees. Just like Twitter wouldn’t exist without the open platform of the internet, the next world-changing Dapp can’t exist without Ethereum. CurrentDapps include a global market for idle computing power and storage, peer-to-peer real estate transactions (no trusted third party for escrow), identity networks for governments and corporations (think digital Social Security card), and monetization strategies for the internet which replace advertising. Think back 10 years to the advent of smartphones, and then to our culture today-- Ethereum could have a similar network effect on humanity. Ethereum is currently the #2 market cap crypto below Bitcoin, and many believe it will surpass it in 2018. It has a large, active group of developers working to solve scaling issues,  maintain security, and create entirely new programming conventions. If successful, platforms like Ethereum may well be the foundation of the decentralized internet of the future.
Ripple is significantly more centralized than most crypto networks, designed as a backbone for the global banking and financial technology (“fintech”) industries. It is a network for exchanging between fiat currencies and other asset classes instantly and cheaply, especially when transacting cross-border and between separate institutions. It uses large banks and remittance companies as “anchors” to allow trading between any asset on the network, and big names like Bank of America, American Express, RBC, and UBS are partners. The utility of this network is global and massive in scale. It is extremely important to note that not all cryptos have the same number of tokens. Ripple has 100 Billion tokens compared to Bitcoin’s 21 Million. Do not directly compare price between cryptos. XRP will likely never reach $1k,  but the price will rise commensurate with its utility as a financial tool. In some sense, Ripple is anathema to the original philosophical vision of this technology space. And while I agree with the cyberpunk notion of decentralized currencies, separation of money and state, this is the natural progression of the crypto world. The internet was an incredible decentralized wild west of Usenet groups and listservs before Eternal September and the dot-com boom, but its maturation affected every part of global society.
Cardano’s main claim to fame: it is the only crypto developed using academic methodologies by a global collective of engineers and researchers, built on a foundation of industry-leading, peer-reviewed cryptographic research. The network was designed from first-principles to allow scalability, system upgrades, and to balance the privacy of its users with the security needs of regulators. One part of this ecosystem is the Cardano Foundation, a Swiss non-profit founded to work proactively with governments and regulatory bodies to institute legal frameworks around the crypto industry. Detractors of Cardano claim that it doesn’t do anything innovative, but supporters see the academic backing and focus on regulation development as uniquely valuable.
Stellar Lumens (XLM)
Stellar Lumens and Ripple were founded by the same person. They initially shared the same code, but today the two are distinct in their technical back-end as well as their guiding philosophy and development goals. Ripple is closed-source, for-profit, deflationary, and intended for use by large financial institutions. Stellar is open-source, non-profit, inflationary, and intended to promote international wealth distribution. As such, they are not direct competitors. IBM is a major partner to Stellar. Their network is already processing live transactions in 12 currency corridors across the South Pacific, with plans to process 60% of all cross-border payments in the South Pacific’s retail foreign exchange corridor by Q2 2018. Beyond its utility as a financial tool, the Stellar network may become a competitor to Ethereum as a platform for application development and Initial Coin Offerings (“ICOs”). The theoretical maximum throughput for the network is higher, and it takes less computational power to run. The Stellar development team is highly active, has written extensive documentation for third-party developers, and has an impressive list of advisors, including Patrick Collison (Stripe), Sam Altman (Y Combinator), and other giants in the software development community.
Iota was developed as the infrastructure backbone for the Internet of Things (IoT), sometimes called the machine economy. As the world of inanimate objects is networked together, their need to communicate grows exponentially. Fridges, thermostats, self-driving cars, printers, planes, and industrial sensors all need a secure protocol with which to transact information. Iota uses a “Tangle” instead of a traditional blockchain, and this is the main innovation driving the crypto’s value. Each device that sends a transaction confirms two other transactions in the Tanlge. This removes the need for miners, and enables unique features like zero fees and infinite scalability. The supply of tokens is fixed forever at 2.8*1015, a staggeringly large number (almost three thousand trillion), and the price you see reported is technically “MIOT”, or the price for a million tokens.
The most successful privacy-focused cryptocurrency. In Bitcoin and most other cryptos, anyone can examine the public ledger and trace specific coins through the network. If your identity can be attached to a public address on that network, an accurate picture of your transaction history can be built-- who, what, and when. Monero builds anonymity into the system using strong cryptographic principles, which makes it functionally impossible to trace coins,  attach names to wallets, or extract metadata from transactions. The development team actively publishes in the cryptography research community. Anonymous transactions are not new-- we call it cash. Only in the past two decades has anonymity grown scarce in the first-world with the rise of credit cards and ubiquitous digital records. Personal data is becoming the most valuable resource on Earth, and there are many legitimate reasons for law-abiding citizens to want digital privacy, but it is true that with anonymity comes bad actors-- Monero is the currency of choice for the majority of black market (“darknet”) transactions. Similarly, US Dollars are the main vehicle for the $320B annual drug trade. An investment here should be based on the underlying cryptographic research and technology behind this coin, as well as competitors like Zcash. 
Zero fees and instantaneous transfer make RaiBlocks extremely attractive for exchange of value, in many senses outperforming Bitcoin at its original intended purpose. This crypto has seen an explosion in price and exposure over the past month, and it may become the network of choice for transferring value within and between crypto exchanges. Just in the first week of 2018: the CEO of Ledger (makers of the most popular hardware wallet on the market) waived the $50k code review fee to get RaiBlocks on his product, and XRB got listed on Binance and Kucoin, two of the largest altcoin exchanges globally. This is one to watch for 2018. 
Developed as a single answer to the problem of supply-chain logistics, VeChain is knocking on the door of a fast-growing $8 trillion industry. Every shipping container and packaged product in the world requires constant tracking and verification. A smart economy for logistics built on the blockchain promises greater efficiency and lower cost through the entire process flow. Don’t take my word for it-- VeChain has investment from PwC (5th largest US corporation), Groupe Renault, Kuehne & Nagel (world’s largest freight company), and DIG (China’s largest wine importer). The Chinese government has mandated VeChain to serve as blockchain technology partner to the city of Gui’an, a special economic zone and testbed for China’s smart city of the future. This crypto has some of the strongest commercial partnerships in the industry, and a large active development team.
“Investment” is a misnomer. Cryptos are traded like securities, but grant you no equity (like trading currency).
It is impossible to double-spend or create a fake transaction, as each ledger is confirmed against every other ledger.
Some utility token blockchains use DAG networks or similar non-linear networks which don’t require mining.
In practice, these are giant warehouses full of specialized computers constantly processing transactions. Miners locate to the cheapest electricity source, and the bulk of mining currently occurs in China.
Centralized second-layer exchange websites have been hacked, but the core technology is untouched.
The biggest announcement of the month was the new kind of decentralized exchange proposed by @jy-p of Company 0. The Community Discussions section considers the stakeholders' response. dcrd: Peer management and connectivity improvements. Some work for improved sighash algo. A new optimization that gives 3-4x faster serving of headers, which is great for SPV. This was another step towards multipeer parallel downloads – check this issue for a clear overview of progress and planned work for next months (and some engineering delight). As usual, codebase cleanup, improvements to error handling, test infrastructure and test coverage. Decrediton: work towards watching only wallets, lots of bugfixes and visual design improvements. Preliminary work to integrate SPV has begun. Politeia is live on testnet! Useful links: announcement, introduction, command line voting example, example proposal with some votes, mini-guide how to compose a proposal. Trezor: Decred appeared in the firmware update and on Trezor website, currently for testnet only. Next steps are mainnet support and integration in wallets. For the progress of Decrediton support you can track this meta issue. dcrdata: Continued work on Insight API support, see this meta issue for progress overview. It is important for integrations due to its popularity. Ongoing work to add charts. A big database change to improve sorting on the Address page was merged and bumped version to 3.0. Work to visualize agenda voting continues. Ticket splitting: 11-way ticket split from last month has voted (transaction). Ethereum support in atomicswap is progressing and welcomes more eyeballs. decred.org: revamped Press page with dozens of added articles, and a shiny new Roadmap page. decredinfo.com: a new Decred dashboard by lte13. Reddit announcement here. Dev activity stats for June: 245 active PRs, 184 master commits, 25,973 added and 13,575 deleted lines spread across 8 repositories. Contributions came from 2 to 10 developers per repository. (chart)
Hashrate: growth continues, the month started at 15 and ended at 44 PH/s with some wild 30% swings on the way. The peak was 53.9 PH/s. F2Pool was the leader varying between 36% and 59% hashrate, followed by coinmine.pl holding between 18% and 29%. In response to concerns about its hashrate share, F2Pool made a statement that they will consider measures like rising the fees to prevent growing to 51%. Staking: 30-day average ticket price is 94.7 DCR (+3.4). The price was steadily rising from 90.7 to 95.8 peaking at 98.1. Locked DCR grew from 3.68 to 3.81 million DCR, the highest value was 3.83 million corresponding to 47.87% of supply (+0.7% from previous peak). Nodes: there are 240 public listening and 115 normal nodes per dcred.eu. Version distribution: 57% on v1.2.0 (+12%), 25% on v1.1.2 (-13%), 14% on v1.1.0 (-1%). Note: the reported count of non-listening nodes has dropped significantly due to data reset at decred.eu. It will take some time before the crawler collects more data. On top of that, there is no way to exactly count non-listening nodes. To illustrate, an alternative data source, charts.dcr.farm showed 690 reachable nodes on Jul 1. Extraordinary event: 247361 and 247362 were two nearly full blocks. Normally blocks are 10-20 KiB, but these blocks were 374 KiB (max is 384 KiB).
Update from Obelisk: shipping is expected in first half of July and there is non-zero chance to meet hashrate target. Another Chinese ASIC spotted on the web: Flying Fish D18 with 340 GH/s at 180 W costing 2,200 CNY (~340 USD). (asicok.com – translated, also on asicminervalue) dcrASIC team posted a farewell letter. Despite having an awesome 16 nm chip design, they decided to stop the project citing the saturated mining ecosystem and low profitability for their potential customers.
Changenow announced the option to buy DCR with fiat.
TokenPride: "We are seeking feedback on the general setup of our payment processor. We have tried to make it simple and user friendly. 10% of all purchases made in Decred will be donated to the Decred Development fund - and we will be releasing original Decred designs in the future".
BlueYard Capital announced investment in Decred and the intent to be long term supporters and to actively participate in the network's governance. In an overview post they stressed core values of the project:
There are a few other remarkable characteristics that are a testament to the DNA of the team behind Decred: there was no sale of DCR to investors, no venture funding, and no payment to exchanges to be listed – underscoring that the Decred team and contributors are all about doing the right thing for long term (as manifested in their constitution for the project). The most encouraging thing we can see is both the quality and quantity of high calibre developers flocking to the project, in addition to a vibrant community attaching their identity to the project.
The company will be hosting an event in Berlin, see Events below. Arbitrade is now mining Decred.
Campus Party in Brasilia, Brazil. @girino, @Rhama and @matheusd talked about Decred. Matheus was interviewed by a TV channel. Check this quick report about the event, click "Show newer" to continue reading. (photos: 123)
Blockchain Summit in London, UK. This was not a full blown presence with stand but rather investigation of opportunities by @kyle and @Ani. The resulting detailed report is a good example of a document advising to stakeholders whether it is worth spending project funds.
Meetup in Berlin, Germany on July 18. @jz will give a talk and Q&A about Decred and chat with Ele from @oscoin about incentivizing developers. Hosted by BlueYard Capital.
Hey guys! I'd like to share with you my latest adventure: Stakey Club, hosted at stakey.club, is a website dedicated to Decred. I posted a few articles in Brazilian Portuguese and in English. I also translated to Portuguese some posts from the Decred Blog. I hope you like it! (slack)
Decred Assembly - Ep20 - Governance: Driving the Future (youtube) @cburniske and @traceagain discuss the importance of governance protocols being foundational and problems with delegated proof of stake
"I think that developers in the future are going to base their decision on where to build on the basis of governance and community. And so I look for good governance mechanisms and strong communities in blockchains." (@decredproject)
What is on-chain cryptocurrency governance? Is it plutocratic? by Richard Red (medium)
Apples to apples, Decred is 20x more expensive to attack than Bitcoin by Zubair Zia (medium)
What makes Decred different and better from other cryptocurrencies? (cxihub.com)
Community stats: Twitter followers 40,209 (+1,091), Reddit subscribers 8,410 (+243), Slack users 5,830 (+172), GitHub 392 stars and 918 forks of dcrd repository. An update on our communication systems:
Matrix chat logs are nowviewable on the web with the exception of some channels that are not bridged. The new web logs means our chats are now fully public and indexed by search engines.
Slack had an outage on Jun 27 that disturbed communications for a few hours, discussions continued on Decred's bridged platforms.
Jake Yocom-Piatt did an AMA on CryptoTechnology, a forum for serious crypto tech discussion. Some topics covered were Decred attack cost and resistance, voting policies, smart contracts, SPV security, DAO and DPoS. A new kind of DEX was the subject of an extensive discussion in #general, #random, #trading channels as well as Reddit. New channel #thedex was created and attracted more than 100 people. A frequent and fair question is how the DEX would benefit Decred. @lukebp has put it well:
Projects like these help Decred attract talent. Typically, the people that are the best at what they do aren’t driven solely by money. They want to work on interesting projects that they believe in with other talented individuals. Launching a DEX that has no trading fees, no requirement to buy a 3rd party token (including Decred), and that cuts out all middlemen is a clear demonstration of the ethos that Decred was founded on. It helps us get our name out there and attract the type of people that believe in the same mission that we do. (slack)
Another concern that it will slow down other projects was addressed by @davecgh:
The intent is for an external team to take up the mantle and build it, so it won't have any bearing on the current c0 roadmap. The important thing to keep in mind is that the goal of Decred is to have a bunch of independent teams on working on different things. (slack)
A chat about Decred fork resistance started on Twitter and continued in #trading. Community members continue to discuss the finer points of Decred's hybrid system, bringing new users up to speed and answering their questions. The key takeaway from this chat is that the Decred chain is impossible to advance without votes, and to get around that the forker needs to change the protocol in a way that would make it clearly not Decred. "Against community governance" article was discussed on Reddit and #governance. "The Downside of Democracy (and What it Means for Blockchain Governance)" was another article arguing against on-chain governance, discussed here. Reddit recap: mining rig shops discussion; how centralized is Politeia; controversial debate on photos of models that yielded useful discussion on our marketing approach; analysis of a drop in number of transactions; concerns regarding project bus factor, removing central authorities, advertising and full node count – received detailed responses; an argument by insette for maximizing aggregate tx fees; coordinating network upgrades; a new "Why Decred?" thread; a question about quantum resistance with a detailed answer and a recap of current status of quantum resistant algorithms. Chats recap: Programmatic Proof-of-Work (ProgPoW) discussion; possible hashrate of Blake-256 miners is at least ~30% higher than SHA-256d; how Decred is not vulnerable to SPV leaf/node attack.
DCR opened the month at ~$93, reached monthly high of $110, gradually dropped to the low of $58 and closed at $67. In BTC terms it was 0.0125 -> 0.0150 -> 0.0098 -> 0.0105. The downturn coincided with a global decline across the whole crypto market. In the middle of the month Decred was noticed to be #1 in onchainfx "% down from ATH" chart and on this chart by @CoinzTrader. Towards the end of the month it dropped to #3.
Please note: we will not accept any kind of payment to list an asset.
Bithumb got hacked with a $30 m loss. Zcash organized Zcon0, an event in Canada that focused on privacy tech and governance. An interesting insight from Keynote Panel on governance: "There is no such thing as on-chain governance". Microsoft acquired GitHub. There was some debate about whether it is a reason to look into alternative solutions like GitLab right now. It is always a good idea to have a local copy of Decred source code, just in case. Status update from @sumiflow on correcting DCR supply on various sites:
To begin with, none of the below sites were showing the correct supply or market cap for Decred but we've made some progress. coingecko.com, coinlib.io, cryptocompare.com, livecoinwatch.com, worldcoinindex.com - corrected! cryptoindex.co, onchainfx.com - awaiting fix coinmarketcap.com - refused to fix because devs have coins too? (slack)
About This Issue
This is the third issue of Decred Journal after April and May. Most information from third parties is relayed directly from source after a minimal sanity check. The authors of Decred Journal have no ability to verify all claims. Please beware of scams and do your own research. The new public Matrix logs look promising and we hope to transition from Slack links to Matrix links. In the meantime, the way to read Slack links is explained in the previous issue. As usual, any feedback is appreciated: please comment on Reddit, GitHub or #writers_room. Contributions are welcome too, anything from initial collection to final review to translations. Credits (Slack names, alphabetical order): bee and Richard-Red. Special thanks to @Haon for bringing May 2018 issue to medium.
5 most promising Altcoins for long-term investments | Coinscapture
After the success of Bitcoin and the rise in the price of the first-ever cryptocurrency, many new coins were developed in cryptoworld. In simple words, any coin other than bitcoin is termed as “Altcoins”. These coins are created by tweaking the Bitcoin's or any other existing cryptocurrencies protocol. In the growing world of cryptocurrency, there are more than 3000 cryptocurrencies which came into existence and so it is a tough job to choose the right Altcoin to invest in it. Here are the 5 most promising Altcoins that can help you to narrow your search. Disclaimer: This guide should not be considered as financial advice. It is highly recommended to do appropriate market research before any investments.
After the successful launch of Bitcoin, Litecoin was the next one to enter the Cryptoworld in 2011. Charlie Lee - a computer scientist created Litecoin by making some technical changes in the bitcoin’s source-code and made it the fastest peer-to-peer currency that enabled instant, near-zero cost payments to anyone across the world. Also, litecoin has a total supply of 84 million with an average block mining time of 2.5 minutes.
Reasons why to choose Litecoin as a Long-Term Investment
Improved: Litecoin algorithm is generally easier to mine but difficult to crack The bitcoin mining is highly processed intensive requiring, application-specific integrated circuit devices with high processing capabilities, while Litecoin mining is memory-intensive requiring less cost-intensive graphics processing units (GPU).
Faster block-processing rate: The technical changes done on Bitcoin’s source-code allows Litecoin to processes a block at a much faster rate and giving out rewards to the miner faster in every 2.5 minutes as compared to Bitcoin which processes a block in every 10 minutes. Litecoin network have more capacity to handle the transactions than bitcoin's network
SegWit upgrade: Litecoin's SegWit upgrade boost the capacity of the number of transactions a block can hold in litecoin's blockchain, thereby speeding up the transaction settlement times and lowering transaction costs.
Higher trading volume: The trading of Litecoin has begun since 2011 and since then it was in the top 10 list of coins. The popularity of Litecoins is so much that you won't face any problem selling them in the future which brings less fear of having risk as compared to other new coins.
Ethereum is the second-largest digital currency introduces Vitalik Buterin in late 2015. It has been a popular choice in many industries as its cool feature named Smart Contracts helps developers to build decentralized applications (dApps) on top of its (i.e. Ethereum's) blockchain which helps to avoid fraud, downtime, and control or interference from a third party. Ethereum can also be used for banking and financial service contracts, ICOS, prediction markets, replacing escrow, identity management. The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance founded in 2017 has over 200 organizations that are testing on various versions of Ethereum's blockchain in different industries. Ethereum has a circulating supply of 106,376,346 ETH, the market capitalization of $26,307, 580,992 and faster transaction of 6 minutes as compared to Bitcoin.
Reasons why to choose Ethereum as a Long-Term Investment
Multi-purpose usage- Other than trading Ethereum can be used for ICOs, prediction markets, building tokens and many more ways that very few cryptocurrencies can do as good as Ethereum.
Safety: The apps built on Ethereum’s blockchain termed as dApps or decentralized apps are significantly safer and more resistant to hacking than the software you use now.
Smart contracts: The smart contract feature offers significant business benefits over more traditional conventional forms of cloud computing and transaction-clearing.
Initial Coin Offerings: Ethereum is used ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) that means it acts as a launchpad for new tokens which thereby makes it a valuable platform and price will increase with its use.
Ripple is the hot choice in banking and financial institutions as it can be used as an intermediary for quick transaction-processing and settlement service; allowing to transact directly and instantly across national borders. XRP currently has a fast transaction processing time of about 4 seconds and a cheap transaction fee about $0.004 per transaction (which is less than half a cent). It has a circulating supply of 42,181,995,112 and a market capitalization of around 17 billion USD.
Reasons why to choose Ripple as a Long-Term Investment
Well distributed: Ripple is an open-source technology, built on the principles of blockchain with an increasing set of validators.
Highly Scalable: XRP has the potential to handle 1,500 transactions per second, 24x7, and can scale to deal with a similar throughput as Visa.
Highly Stable: The most stable record of Ripple makes it ready for institutional and enterprise use.
Global Bank partners: Ripple has partnered with over 100 banks like Bank of America, UBS, Standard Chartered, Barclays, JP Morgan, Santander, and American Express.
Stellar offers the fastest and the cheapest online payment and cross-border payment services as compared to the other large companies. Also, it does not use proof of work verification which is time and energy consuming which allows processing a transaction in approx 5 seconds. It has a market capitalization of $2,378,213,121 and a circulating supply of 19.331,689,641.
Reasons why to choose Stellar as a Long-Term Investment
Low-cost transactions: Stellar’s payment protocol prioritizes profit, the low transaction time and high operational efficiency translates to a lower cost of transactions.
Currency exchanger: Stellar’s platform also acts as a currency exchanger between government-backed currencies, such as dollars to euros.
Creating tokens: Launching a token on the Stellar platform is super easy because of the simple programming.
Tech elements: Stellar can integrate with elements such as blockchain smart contracts, and multi signatures that enhances the functionality of the payment protocol
Binance coin is the official coin of the Binance platform that offers a stage for trading cryptocurrencies. Binance is soon launching its own decentralized exchange, Binance DEX that would be available on all platforms, such as Windows, Linux, Mac OS, iOS and Android. BNB has a market capitalization of 4 billion USD and a circulating supply of 141,175,490.
Reasons why to choose Binance Coin a Long-Term Investment
Discounts: BNB can be used not only to pay сommissions for transactions on the exchange and also to get additional discounts for each purchase and exchange via Binance
Team: BNB has a great team that is ambitious and experienced in the cryptocurrency world
Referrals: BNB coin offers a smart referral scheme which attracts many users and thereby grows the platform’s adoption
Detailed write up about EOS. Comments are appreciated.
#1 - What is EOS?
EOS has attained celebrity-like status in the cryptocurrency market - on the back of a very successful ICO, and because it’s seen a healthy rise in its price ever since news of its mainnet hit the markets.
EOS: The Basics
EOS is a decentralised operating system based on blockchain technology. It is designed to support of decentralised applications on a commercial-scale by giving all the required core functionalities. These enable businesses to build the blockchain applications in a manner that stays similar to that of web-based applications. This blockchain network has also claimed to remove transaction fees and conduct millions of transactions within a second.
The token name is EOS.
It has a few major notable tech designs, such as DPoS consensus, 100,000+ TPS, zero transactional fees, ability to alter codes, etc.
At BlockShow Asia, on November 29, 2017, Block.one revealed a publicly available testing environment, known as EOSIO Single-Threaded Application Testnet (EOS STAT).
The entire plan of EOS was published in 2017 in a whitepaper.
The EOSIO platform was developed by a private company, Block.one and was further released as an open-source software on June 1, 2018.
To ensure that the native tokens were distributed widely at the launch of the blockchain, around a billion tokens were sold on the Ethereum platform by Block.one. This provided a distribution network that everyone who owns the token can start using it once the EOS blockchain software is released.
10% of these tokens are reserved for Block.one. Total of 20% EOS tokens was sold on Ethereum in the first 5 days of the entire 341 days long token sale. The remaining 70% tokens, that stand under the majority, are to be sold and produced at market value. The startup, EOS ICO, managed to get $170 million in the first step, regardless of critics from numerous representatives on the blockchain community. EOS is presently the fifth leading cryptocurrency of the world by market capitalization.
#2 - What are the benefits of EOS?
The objective of EOS is to provide a decentralized platform to host applications, implement smart contracts and use blockchain for businesses while hoping to solve the scalability issues faced by pioneering cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
It will also eliminate the fees charged for transactions. It will accomplish this by using delegated proof-of-stake of the consensus protocol as well as by being multi-threaded (being able to run on various computer cores).
The target of EOS is to be the very first operating system that will be decentralized. EOSIO provides a better developmental environment for decentralized applications, such as, BitShares, a platform for the decentralized exchange of cryptocurrency and Steemit, a social networking platform with monetary incentives.
The native token, EOS, is a utility token that gives both storage and the bandwidth on the blockchain. It is proportionate to the entire stake (owning only 1% of EOS tokens permits the usage of up to 1% of the total bandwidth).
These tokens also permit the owner to participate in the on-chain governance of the blockchain and to cast votes, in proportion to the stake of the owner.
The EOSIO platform will drop its vote for 21 block producers at the time of its launch that will further validate and generate blocks within the block time of 500 ms. The smart contract and general language for building the entire platform is WebAssembly (C, C++, Rust) and a portable machine build at World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
#3 - How to buy and store EOS
How to buy EOS
The EOS coin is listed for trading on various trading exchanges all around the world, and is paired with a few major cryptocurrencies like BTC, ETH, BNB, KRW, and USDT, which is a pro for the user of EOS as this allows the users to access or obtain the EOS token by using their present ETH, BNB, BTC, USDT, or KRW. The entire list of trading exchanges for EOS token includes major global exchanges such as Binance, KuCoin, Bitfinex, Huobi, and more. It has over 120 pairings available across nearly as many exchanges - allowing users to purchase EOS using BTC, ETH, USDT and other major cryptocurrencies.
While cryptocurrency exchanges provide you a platform to buy or sell the EOS cryptocurrency, CoinSwitch, cryptocurrency exchange aggregator comes in to help you make the right decision by providing the prices for EOS on multiple crypto exchanges. It supports more than 140 coins and 45,000 pairs of cryptocurrencies.You can choose whichever pair you want with your token and compare the prices at exchanges. This way you can choose the best deal for you!
What’s more - with CoinSwitch, you do not rely on a separate wallet from the exchange to store your EOS cryptocurrency. Instead, all transactions happen to and from your own personal private wallets.
EOS is an ERC20 token - which means it can be stored on any wallet that supports Ethereum. While this will change once EOS releases its own mainnet, currently a EOS wallet that you can use can be one of the following:
Exodus Wallet is multi-cryptocurrency wallet which has an easy-to-use user interface. It has a built-in exchange that permits you to trade the coin instantly. The backup wizard keeps your wallet ready for later use and safe. It is partially open source wallet.
#4 - What is the future of EOS token?
Trends so far
EOS’s company, Block.one, is registered in Cayman Islands. It began offering EOS tokens to the public in June 2017. It raised $700 million during its ICO - a fairly large amount and a testament to the support it has received from the masses.
An online, wiki-based encyclopedia, Everipedia, has announced its plans for using EOS blockchain technology on 6th December 2017. As soon as the Everipedia is decentralized and hosted on EOSIO platform, few countries such as Iran and Turkey that have blocked Wikipedia, will not be able to block it any further via Everipedia’s fork.
EOS Global Acceptance
The Market Cap ranking of the EOS cryptocurrency is 5th, and it holds a market capitalisation of $10.9 billion USD as of June 2018. A total number of 900 million EOS coins are in circulation.
The EOS platform allows developers to build decentralized applications in a public environment. Above all, scalability can be achieved easily with the help of EOS as it is able to support thousands of commercial decentralized applications thanks to its architecture - which is Proof-of-Stake instead of the slower Proof-of-Work that cryptocurrencies generally use. EOS is gaining more traction day by day.
EOS saw an increase of over 15x between the closing months of 2017 and opening months of 2018 - going from around $1 to over $15. Impressively, despite the decline the market saw in general, the price of an EOS coin continues to however around the $15 mark as of June 2018. This may be supported by news of its upcoming mainnet launch.
The price is intended to get to $37 by the end of 2018, which would also lead to a price of around $143 in the next five years. Hence, the entire quantum of appreciation that can be gained is big enough, which is why it is worth investing in the platform.
Due to multiple decentralized applications, the need for an IT infrastructure for EOS has decreased. With the increase in the number of companies starting to use the platform for decentralized applications, the valuation of the platform will increase too.
#5 - How is EOS different from other cryptocurrencies?
One aspect that makes EOS entirely different and better than all the other cryptocurrencies is that it does not charge any transaction fees.
EOS is a decentralized platform that has room for far higher scalability. While both Ethereum and EOS are platforms that can run smart contracts, EOS claims to offer faster transaction times, and quicker execution. It can further support industrial-scale decentralized applications.
While Ethereum uses a Proof-of-Work (PoW) model for its mining operations, EOS will use a Delegated Proof-Of-Stake (PoS) model for EOS mining - which is far faster, and will not be as energy intensive as mining generally is.
While developers on blockchains typically have to use a specific language to build their applications, EOS allows developers to compile in Web Assembly, which means developers can use C++ to build their applications!
#6 - Should you invest in EOS?
It is likely to be the first third-generation blockchain to reach out to the market.
Unique features: - It has parallel processing that is good for scalability. - It has no transaction fees, block producers paid out by inflation.
There is an inflation build in the token model, which will help the block producers earn incentives when performing their work.
It will also have a process for the recovery of an account if you tend to lose your private keys. It will make human readable account names.
EOS has a massive reserve so far. Due to its initial coin offerings, it has earned billions of dollars. The platform has created a large ecosystem fund with this reserve.
Companies and organizations can easily make decentralized applications with the help of this platform.
The on-chain governance system will lead to more politics, as you need to garner a lot of votes to become one of the block producers.
It may not be as decentralized as say, ETH, as it can have only 21 block producers.
EOS has a lot going for it. This is why it raised over $700 million in its ICO in the first place. You already know how to buy eos coin by now. Whether you should buy and hold, is a decision that will require more deliberation, as with any other cryptocurrency.
30th July: Weekly Community Newsletter for Anonymous Bitcoin - Seventh Ed.
Anonymous Bitcoin Community Herald Edition 7
Editorial It seems as though people have finally realized how close we are to Anonymous Bitcoin's launch. A lot of action in this week just gone, and from here on in we can expect the frenzy of activity to increase. Thank you to everyone that joins in the conversation on Telegram and Discord, it is a pleasure hearing from you! Looking at the usual general market indicator, BTC, we see it has continued to remain steady at US$8k+. ZCL has seen some very high volume and nice green candles. As always, expect a retrace after some big moves, but personally, I wouldnt count on too much of a retraction. Congratulations to those that secured enough ZCL to run an ANON masternode post-fork early. Less that two weeks ago, this would have required an initial outlay of a mere US$850 to accumulate enough coins to run a MN. As of the time of writing, it now costs US$1500+. Be ready for additional information, news, and other releases in the coming days. ANON is preparing to share a lot more with you all! Thought for the week: If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.– Isaac Newton. Bonus! background information to quote: The metaphor of dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants (Latin: nanos gigantum humeris insidentes) expresses the meaning of "discovering truth by building on previous discoveries". This concept has been traced to the 12th century, attributed to Bernard of Chartres. Bernard of Chartres pointed out that we see more and farther than our predecessors, not because we have keener vision or greater height, but because we are lifted up and borne aloft on their gigantic stature (Wikipedia). The next edition of this newsletter will be available 6th August, covering the week of the 30th July to 5th August, 2018. Important Announcements and Developments Anonymous Bitcoin has made the announcement that in the coming weeks, it will re-brand and drop the "Bitcoin" from its name. Twitter Link . Anonymous is its own project, looking to stand on it own merits, and this is a strong signal to all that this team is serious about long-term viability. To those who did not look any further into the project than the name, it 'appeared' that ANON was nothing more than a hijacked BTC and ZCL. We of course know this to be untrue. The point of open-source crypto, is to build upon the foundations and make improvements. This is ANON's goal. To take the best of what is on offer, and make it BETTER. The broad stability and base of Bitcoin, the privacy (less the fee of ZCash) in ZClassic, the masternodes of Dash, and other 'borrowed' code as well as ANON's own coding. Those that criticize this method – I do not ask you to stop using language, mathematics,computing, etc that have been previously invented by others!! This is obviously ridiculous, we all build upon that which has come before us. If its good enough for Isaac Newton, its should be good enough for the rest of us! To illustrate how seriously ANON takes it commitment to the crypto community, it the admins and devs have released a Medium FAQ . The team listens to the community, and takes the time to reply to the issues of concern. There is plenty of counter-argument to the FUD available for those that bother to take the time to look, rather than follow the herd mentality. I would like to make the observation: By following the crowd and criticizing that which we do not understand, we shall all be brandishing pitch-forks, and calling for witches to be burned soon if we are not careful! Please, lets learn from history, and try to support each-other in this new venture of humanity we are undertaking. Bounty Winners Congratulations!!! to our weekly (last week) merch giveaway winners - The Manatee of Binance and @LionAl3x and to our weekly (last week) BEST COMMENT winners (3 ZCL) Week ending JUL 22, 2018 Twitter: @sjaako87 Youtube: Rohan Reddit: @Caroleen002 Remember, it is easy to be in the running for this. Simply register and write a comment on our socials. And dont forget, with a ZCL price rise, the value of the prize has increased. Minor Updates and 'Links of the Week' Another Twitter re-tweet for ZCL giveaway campaign was run, and the Anonymous community is certainly growing quite quickly. Make sure that you are involved in all of ANON's socials, as our strength is in our community. ANON wants to hear from you, positive comments are, of course, enjoyed, but also constructive observations are welcome and taken on-board. Telegram: t.me/anonymousbitcoin t.me/AnonymousBitcoinBounty t.me/ZClassicCoin t.me/ZclassicCE And please, as ANON is in discussion with exchanges regarding listing, please have all your price and exchange discussions off Anonymous's official channels. You can discuss these topics here: t.me/anonymousbitcoinPP Also, join the admins in discussion on DISCORD. There is an open mic channel, and the admins are hosting conversation on there from time to time. Ask your favorite admin for a chat discord.gg/kJbhxNy The Week Ahead
Jake has indicated some major surprise announcements are imminent. I have a feeling everyone will be VERY happy!
BINANCE: A DRIVER FOR BLOCKCHAIN AND CRYPTO-CURRENCY ADOPTION
Introduction Binance is an exchange company formed in 2017. If one may ask, is Binance just an exchange or a progressive crypto exchange? My answer is that Binance is not just a crypto exchange company but an 'engine' that drives crypto-currency adoption. How? My readers may ask. My answers will first start with a simple analogy of what is adoption.
Adoption is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting of another, (usually a child, from that person's biological or legal parent or parents,) and in so doing, permanently transfers all rights and responsibilities, along with filiation, from the biological parent or parents (Wikipedia,2018). In the sense of crypto-currency it is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting of another ( new idea or way or thing) and in so doing permanently transfers all rights and responsibility that belong to the old or normal way to the new way. Driving in the other hand is knowing how to operate the mechanisms which control the system (vehicle); it requires knowing how to apply the rules of the road (which ensures safe and efficient sharing with other users). An effective driver also has an intuitive understanding of the basics of system (vehicle ) handling and can drive responsibly (Jacob,2018). A driver may be a person, company, a system or device that knows the mechanism which control a system and the driver must formulate or know the rules and the basics of directing the system to its target. A device driver for instance is a system (computer program) that operates or controls a particular type of device (EMC,2010). In our case we are looking at crypto-adoption driver, a person or company that knows the mechanism which can be used to make greater number of people to transfer permanently the rights and responsibility of fiat money to blockchain currency (Crypto-currency). A clear case of driving adoption can be easily seen in Football which have been in existence long ago, but FIFA devices a way to entice all nation to participate and develop football infrastructure in there countries by moving Football tournament hosting around different regions and other things they did to make the sports to be popular (adopted) all over the regions of the world. Similarly, crypto-currency have been there before Binance started, crypto-exchanges have been there before the advent of Binance but what Binance did and what they did not do helped in replicating adoption across all the regions of the globe. The only challenge here is whether these position can be substantiated?
The Authors experience My name is Bartholomew Eke (PhD), a Software Engineer and Senior Lecturer at the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, Africa. I developed interest on cryptocurrency in 2010 after reading Nakamoto published paper Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer electronic cash system (Satoshi,2008) which I saw as a research on cryptography protection of online payments. I didn't well understood it until on Febuary 2014 on hearing that Mt. Gox the largest Bitcoin exchange tend, had gone bankcrupt and had made away with depositors 'Coins'. The word coins attracted my interest, I wondererd why they should be keeping the Coins instead of the notes, but I latter learnt it was not Coins but Bitcoins. Before that time Satoshis's Bitcoin was simply viewed by me as a research exercise aimed at improving crryptography which I had many programs on. The research on tracking of Mt. Gox Bitcoin in the publication of Sarah et. al (2016) increased my interest in Crypto-currency and exchanges research. The research is still ungoing though I have published some of my findings but one of my crushial discovery is that Binance is not just a cryptocurrency exchange but a driver of cryptocurrency and blockchain adoption. I am one of the few people trading in crypto exchanges as part of my research project so it often does not matter whether I gained a trade or lost provided I made my findings. I have used more than 15 exchanges only on experimental bases some of which include Coinbase, Blockchain, Kraken, Bitrrex, Tradesatoshi, Binance, Kucoin, Bit-Z, Cryptopia, Luno, Abucoin and Cryptagio just to mention a few. My criteria of registering include Low volume, High Volume, Low fee, High Fee, difficulty of registration, exchange incentive, exchange policy, cardinal goal of exchange, Fiat or non-fiat, age of exchange and other criteria which I will still publish in my future paper. I have lost and gained crypto in the process of the research but I saw some things that Binance does differently which may or may not have contributed to surge in users interest.
Binance Key Drivers In discussing the story of a young exchange called Binance there are some findings worth mentioning and they include: i) Segregation (Discrimination) : In all the money transfer companies and exchanges I have studied before the advent of Binance there is serious segregation among its customers. In some exchanges this differentiation is very scaring but in Binance it is very minimal, unnoticeable and almost non existent. I will use three experiences to explain, in Coinbase my country (Nigeria) can not trade but they can deposit and withdraw crypto, so why allow them to register only to segregate. Most exchanges, majority of users do not withraw more than 1BTC per day but exchanges group them into three level of users which have different withdrawal limits ( which is very OK for some reasons) but many exchanges go further to place trade restrictions based on this segregations. For instance Cryptopia do not allow you to trade USDT or its equivalent if you are not in certain levels. Bit-z will not allow you to participate in some trading competition or even get airdrops if you are not in some category of user. There are more instances but you will not experience any difference as a user until you want to withdraw above certain limits in Binance. Binance operates little or no discrimination allowing 'Private Crypto' users to remain in level 1 and operate freely provided they withraw smaller amounts. There are many world micro scale and unbanked users who can not afford to get any valid government ID for level 3 registration- Binance is were they fill welcomed. I spent some months as level 1 client and now am in level 2 but my withrawal is hardly upto one BTC a day so I feel no difference but that's not true with many exchanges. ii) Incentives: The unprecidented incentives that Binance offer can make some body with zero dollar to be a marchant with Binance. In November 2017, I told my research students who do not have funds to complete their research work, to register in Binance and generate money to finish their research; they did and are about to graduate. Binance empowered them, they simply registered, got some Airdrops from some new crypto companies, sold and traded with the money and where given trading bonuses and they sold the coins and paid for there research costs via Binance. Their trading incentive vary so much that all kinds of traders benefit, to be more concrete Ontology had a condition of trading 0.5BTC over a week. Using $100 a trader can easily trade five times a day which is $1000 buy-sell volume, in five days that is $5000 volume above 0.5BTC at that time and they gave 1000 ONT which was worth (at some time) $10000, what else is incentive or empowerment. No one can deny these facts. Some new exchanges have copied these model which is great for cryptocurrency adoption. All young school leavers in my area are into Airdrop due to this model introduced by Binance. iii) Low trading Fee : Binance is a cryptocurrency which is accepted for transaction in my local domain thanks to the exchange, for the past six months IT training centers in my locality accept and use Binance as payment for IT training. Trading fee is half when the coin is used to pay for fees but due to its relative stability Binance have found usage in other payments. Beginners can easily learn trading at reduced cost due to low fees. Majority of crypto traders in Binance are startup traders who are learning fast due to trading incentives. iv) High Volume: One of the Support team in Abucoin said that people go to Binance because of there high trading volumes, many people still have the same opinion. But as an academics I know that at a time Binance traded less than 1BTC during their starting stage either as one second or one minute trade volume, they did not start the first second of opening trade with large volumes. BTC only have less than 40% of all Crypto (Coinmarketcap,2018) and Binance introduce good altcoins which was followed by volumes. I was told when Binance started by a forum friend that an exchange that does not offer fiat currency will not attract traders but I differed, insisting that a trader will always prefer to make money in 'Aghanistan and spend it in Paris'. If a trader can ingage in quality trade in an exchange he will only go to the next exchange for cash-out. Cashing out is not always a problem once there is another exchange that is ready to exchange even a single crypto like Bitcoin or even TUSD or USDT. v) Honesty: Binance is an honest exchange, they promise they will distribute prices for trade in a given time you will get it before the time or right at the time they promised. Some exchanges do not add crypto handling delays when they make promise only to discover that a transfer may take 30 seconds today and 3 days the next hour. Binance will tell you two weeks after trading competition the coins will be distributed, they do not usually mean it. What they actually said is that "in two days time after context we will send the winners there coins and the coins can take at most 10 days to reach". In most cases the coins reach in seconds instead of the added days they promised. Cryptocurrency is scary and new users are afraid of dealing with faceless customer service personnels, emails and text messages. What they always want is "your coin is confirming 1/30 confirmations"; they can go to sleep believing that in 5days the coin will be their own. Binance delivers on promises. When they found abnormality that will make customers loss they will raise alarm. For instance during Bytecoin surden price spike in early May 2018 they warned customers to trade with cursion explaining that coin deposit problem may have caused price abnormality-honesty. They constantly remind you to trade with their Binance coin for low fee even when they know that your failure to do that results to higher fees and more gain to the company but they prefer to honestly warn customers. v) Selection of Promising Alt Coins: I am a lecturer in Africa and have never worked with any crypto company but I have traded more than 15 coins in Binance (the evidence is the piece of coin left) but the coins are promising. The coin that is usually at the bottom of the Binance volume is Via Coin which is still a good coin (from my accessment). Most of the coins listed in the exchange easily move up creating great choice and selection space for traders. When crypto exchange grow, users grow and trading space need to grow, Binance is master in that strategy. If a company produces a fake coin or even a 'good coin' with bad road map they will not even approach Binance for listing for two reasons- fear of not spending their money since they do not have plans to make more money from long term plan, fear that there listing request will be rejected. The choice of coins cut across prices and different rating in Coinmarketcap; Binance does not wait for a coin to be in the first 100 before listing them rather if they believe the coin is promising they select the coin. vi) Recognition of developer community Any IT company today that do not take care of its developers or technical teams well will loose them to other cryptocurrency companies and there are many of them coming up. Exchanges seem to believe that there job is to deal on other peoples products but Binance has shown that the best we to understand the crypto world is by been one with it. Binance is not just an exchange, it is a cryptocurrency, a blockchain technology and security and software development organization. This is correct but that can not be said of many exchanges except those copying Binance model. Surprisingly those exchanges copying Binance are also getting visible result. vii) Efficiency and Speed of Site and Trading App. There are things that the Western countries take for granted- power availability and very high speed internet connectivity. Readers of this story from advanced nations should jump to the next point. But the rest of the world have little power which is not even available always and internet cost are high and speed are extremely low. Even when the provider have technology to provide high speed users prefer to have their data last for one full month than to see it finished due to high speed usage. Some times provider intentionally slow down speed to avoid customers outcry of quick finishing data. This calls for exchanges to carry majority of users along in developing there trading platforms. The faster the better and Binance is acting and continues to work on this. viii) Security This is closely related to technology since internally trading apps needed to be upgraded to remain ahead of hackers, crakers and phishing organisations. Early in the year 2018 Binance had a phishing attack, we could easily imagine the state of the cryptocurrency exchange now is they had suceeded. But the phishers could not still coins even when they have broken in, this increased users confidence in the exchange and draw more new clients. The new features added to the exchange have even made email phishing extremely difficult to phishers. There are other security features added which users can sence but are hidden to public discussion. ix) Rich Binance is a rich company, rich in their attitude to the world community, rich in income generation, rich in the way they give to start up companies even when they are also start up themselves, rich in their logo and rich in communicating with customers. Rich in innovative ideas. Binance is rich. Poverty repels, so Binance will keep attracting every body to itself. x) Binance is blessed with an experienced and humble CEO When a company has an experienced leader the multiplier effect is seeing on the rest of the staff. Innovative staff will have little headache in getting their ideas approved. An arrogant leader is a liability to a company and make the company to keep regreting its actions. The leader is planning to go to Malta but he is still insisting that it is just a branch of Binance making the current host the consider its stands on tough regulation.
Binance Road Pot Holes A driver must be careful about pot holes else his good car may tumble. Binance no dought now is really a cryptocurrency innovation adoption driver and must watch out for the following. i) Rise of Communities around cryptos Communities grow a company and communities make companies to go down. If all traders pull out from Binance the company will be history. When Bitcoin started, there was one cryptocurrency community, one group of Bitcoin developers, one Bitcoin enthusiast, but today that is far from the reality. We now have many Bitcoin communities (BTC, BCH, BTCP, BTG etc) and many altcoin communities. Passion have started to roll in these communities and support is continously solicited and soon tougher competitions will ensure the coin to list need to be voted for and a new way for paying for coin listing should be deviced using Binance Coin to vote. ii) Ico Support Binance supports ICOs but for more than three months there LaunchPad on their website have being showing Bread and Gifto, this is very bad. When not launching a coin the LaunchPad need to be empty and when new coin are not coming to the Binance LaunchPad the LaunchPad should go to new coins. Binance community can vote to select the next coin that will go into the LaunchPad. If it required payment then they can use their binance coin to vote and get rewarded by the new coin in a form of shared bounty or airdrop. iii) Strong Community We have discussed the rise of communities, binance is lacking on strong community (a group that have strong passion for Binance as an Exchange, a Cryptocurrency and as a Technology). A community driven by volunteers and not by Binance employee, a community that will work for the passion and not for duty. I see three Binance and the group must be very passionate about the three. This may not be group of Binance Traders - no they are too busy and have no coin or exchange friend. Binance may be working towards this direction in the Binance Angels project but wisdom must be used to get the correct arrow head of the community and to actually let go of the person to freely handle the community. If the staff want to lord it on the community followership will be for duty not for the passion. iv) Binance Bounties Binance have so many trading bounties won after the competitions. This is good but part of this bounties need to be used to bring in more new users who will register and a buy Binance and smaller amount for new members without any conditions. The trade competitions the way most of them are ends up in the hands of already suceessful members who can trade once a day and win the competition due to there financial musle. These group of big traders are highly desirable and will continue to remain in the first to third places. But future members need to be attracted with the little tokens falling out from every bounty. v) Need for Binance_Inc Exchange Binance is so big and will get bigger. Binance need to have another cryptocurrency exchange, but instead of just an exchange Binance should have an incubator exchange. 'Division Two exchange' this exchange will be low volume and should serve as a source for listing in the main exchange. If a coin is performing with high volume it can be moved to the main exchange. In a crypto in the main exchange is not performing in they can be moved back to the incubator exchange. In this way Binance will remain the technology and develop in other areas.
Binance as an Innovative Crypto-currency Adoption Driver It has been said that adoption is the original dependent variable in innovation research and the desirable property of innovative systems which change agents seek to enhance. "Innovation" on the other hand is any change in structure, design, products, or processes in which there is a definable new element introduced into the system; the process is essentially the same for all technologies including blockchain technologies. In innovative space the characteristics of people or organizations are associated with higher levels of adoption and the company that makes the adoption to happen faster is very innovative. The voiced or unvoiced assumption underlying the examination of correlates of innovativeness is causal: If we manipulate the characteristics of organizations or individuals so that they more closely resemble those of the highly innovative, we will make the organizations or individuals themselves more innovative (Eveland, 1979)
Conclusion It is very easy to conclude this article by saying that since Binance was able to make more people to adopt cryptocurrency in a fast manner that they are not only drivers of cryptocurrency adoption but they are Innovative. Ask of an innovative cryptocurrency exchange the response should be Binance, when they move others copy so without the statistics of their trade volumes one can easily see that they are truely the leaders that the crypto exchange space have today. References Eveland J. D. (1979) Issues in Using the Concept of "Adoption of Innovations", Journal of Technology Transfer, 4(1) 1-13, Retrieved 2018 from jdeveland.com/papers%20for%20Website/adoption.htm EMC Education Services (2010). Information Storage and Management: Storing, Managing, and Protecting Digital Information. John Wiley & Sons Nakamoto S. (2009) Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, Retrieved 30 May, 2018. Sarah M., Marjori P., Grant J., Kirill L., Damon M., Geoffrey M. V., and Stefan S.,(2016) A Fistful of Bitcoins: Characterizing Payments among Men with No Names, Communications of the ACM, 59(4), 86-93,USA. Jacob M. Appel (2018); "Must Physicians Report Impaired Driving? Rethinking a Duty on a Collision Course with Itself"; Journal of Clinical Ethics (volume 20, number 2).
ProfitTrading app is the best trading app for Android. It's available for the most important exchanges. This is not an official app, and doesn't pretend to be. It's an app that uses exchanges APIs to create amazing features that they don't offer. So with ProfitTrading you have more features than with the exchanges official apps (if they do have an app). It's one of the most downloaded and used apps on GooglePlay for almost all exchanges (after the official ones). You can check any of our apps, like our successful Binance app, with more than 400 ratings and more than 30000 downloads.
What are the free features of ProfitTrading App?
BUY AND SELL CLIENT
Buy and sell any currency in Bitcoins with a quick and easy to use interface. Designed to make trading easy. Buy and sell Bitcoin (BTC) with USDT, ETH, or any market available in the exchange.
A full list of all the currencies in your wallet with their BTC and FIAT equivalences and the total Bitcoin amount. The best place to control your cryptocurrencies.
CHECK OPEN AND CLOSED ORDERS
A complete list of all your open and closed orders, with creation and filled date.
Full chart of each coin, with prices and volume history with time range customization. This is a must tool for trading. You can also track BTC realtime chart.
Manage your hodl signals and track your benefits, coin buy price, amount, coin last value, signal date and coin increment. Add signals directly from your bought orders in Orders section or place them manually with the coin selector. Every signal has a direct access to its detailed chart.
Check the trending markets with most benefits in last 24h. Order them by increment, price or name.
What are the premium features of ProfitTrading App?
TRADING BOT FEATURE
Get profits with conditional orders using TradingBot. Configure the market, the coin and the buying and selling prices and let the bot place the orders for you, so you just have to wait and get your profits. Place an optional stoploss to be able to control unfavorable market conditions. Get the ability to trade with coins that you don't even own yet!. Now with Trailing Stop orders! https://preview.redd.it/vjoem3avnc221.png?width=526&format=png&auto=webp&s=29939c62efa5868c21b1fefbae69cce1528d805f This is used to get money from the fluctuation of a coin. There are many coins that go up and down many times a day. Let's see it with an example: Imagine LTC is getting that behavior, lets say it's price is 0,0184 but is fluctuating from 0,0175 to 0,0185 several times. To get profit creating the orders by yourself, you will have to do the following:
Create a BUY order for 0,0175.
Wait until this order is filled. You should have to check by yourself several times if the BUY order is filled.
Once the order is filled, place a SELL order for 0,0185.
Wait for the sell order to be filled.
With the trading bot, you configure a BUY order for 0,0175 and a SELL order for 0,0185 and don't do anything else. It's important to say that the bot lets you create a SELL order with coins that you don't even own yet (as you haven't purchased it at the start of the process). So you can configure it and go to sleep or whatever without you have to enter several times to check your BUY order have been filled to place the SELL order. The bot also works with the app closed. Apart from this you can also configure a Stop Loss option to limit your loses if the market goes against you. Even you can skip the first step if you only want to place a sell at profit with stop loss TRADING BOT OPERATIONS EXAMPLES These are some of the operations you can configure with the bots, possibilities are infinite! You can create up to 25 concurrent bots. BUY OPERATION By default, BUY operations will be associated with <= symbol. That means: "When price reaches <= TRIGGER PRICE, place a BUY order with BUY PRICE for the defined amount of coin UNITS" It's recommended to place a BUY PRICE a little higher than TRIGGER PRICE to ensure BUY order is filled. You can also choose the trigger symbol between <= or >= SELL OPERATION By default, SELL operations will be associated with >= symbol. That means: "When price reaches >= TRIGGER PRICE, place a SELL order with SELL PRICE for the defined amount of coin UNITS" It's recommended to place a SELL PRICE a little lower than TRIGGER PRICE to ensure SELL order is filled. You can also choose the trigger symbol between <= or >= SPLIT SELLS You can configure split sells by adding consecutive SELL operations to your bot, so you can get a better chance to sell your coins. CONCATENATE OPERATIONS After you configured your first operation, you can keep adding more operations to your bot. Below the units label, you will see two separated quantities. The first one is the currency amount of the coin you own right now, the second one is the currency amount you will add after first operation (if it was a buy). https://preview.redd.it/sqpqmyqkoc221.png?width=509&format=png&auto=webp&s=aabc60de2f03533185255cf55bcb372d111cfc5b STOP LOSS You can also configure a STOP LOSS operation to be safe if the market goes against you. A STOP LOSS operation should always be added after a SELL operation. Select the trigger price you want the STOP LOSS order be created. If the coin price reaches that trigger price, a SELL order will be created with the following price: BID price (at the moment when STOP LOSS is triggered) x MULT value. Mult value is useful to ensure your order is filled if the price is changing very fast. Recommended value is 0.95 BUY STOP
As opposite of STOP LOSS operation, you can also configure a BUY STOP operation to be safe if the market goes against you (if you thought the market was dropping but it rises). A BUY STOP operation should always be added after a BUY operation.
Select the trigger price you want the BUY STOP order be created. If the coin price reaches that trigger price, a BUY order will be created with the following price: ASK price (at the moment when BUY STOP is triggered) x MULT value. Mult value is useful to ensure your order is filled if the price is changing very fast. Recommended value is 1.05 Trading bots with stop loss operations
TRADING BOT EXTENSION PACK
TRAILING STOP Get most benefit from BTC and altcoins fluctuation with Trailing Stop. This is probably the most powerful order type to get benefits. A sell trailing stop order sets the stop price at a fixed amount below the market price with an attached "trailing" amount. As the market price rises, the stop price rises by the trail amount, but if the stock price falls, the stop loss price doesn't change, and a market order is submitted when the stop price is hit. This technique is designed to allow an investor to specify a limit on the maximum possible loss, without setting a limit on the maximum possible gain. Trailing Stop Configuration Configure trailing stop order by defining the following settings: TRIGGER PRICE: Defines the trigger price when the order will start trailing. From here sell order will increase it's price if coin price gets high. STOP OFFSET: Defines the percentage the market price should fall to place the sell order. This step starts checking that percentage once the trigger price has ben reached MULT: Helps you ensure the sell order is filled as it will be a limit order (not a market order). The SELL order will be created with the following price: BID price (at the moment when SELL ORDER is triggered) x MULT value. As said before, mult value is useful to ensure your order is filled if the price is falling very fast. Recommended value is 0.9 UNITS: Defines the units of the coin to be sold Get more info about trailing stop orders here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order\_(exchange)#Trailing\_stop\_order After you configure the Trailing Stop operation you can check the bot status. Including the top price reached and the current down percentage from top reached. AUTO RESTART BOT With this feature, you can set the bot to restart when it finishes with profits and without a stop order. This way you don't need to worry about checking if all orders are filled to restart it. And you can take full advantage on BTC and altcoins high fluctuation. Configure it once and start getting profits. Note that as said, it will only restart if last iteration finished with profits and without a stop order. The application also shows you a resume of all times the bot have successfully completed (cycles). You can check the total profit and the number of times it has completed. You can also see the detail of each completed bot iteration. FILLED ORDERS NOTIFICATIONS You can configure the bot to receive notifications when an order is filled or when the bot is completed. You will receive a push notification in your device when an operation is filled including info about the operation.You will also receive a push notification when all operations are finished, including the profit you made.
SIGNAL BOT FEATURE
Designed to make money in pump events, just write the coin, buy and sell really quickly with the signal bot. Take advantage from others buying when the price is still rising. You will love trading with this app. Once you placed the order, the app tells you if it was filled or not. It also prints the current price of the coin in Bitcoin, updating it constantly so you can sell it when it reaches the price you want. Sell orders are also placed with the same speed as buy orders, so you can take advantage to others at your exchange. The bot is fully customizable, you can configure the Bitcoin (BTC) amount to spend and the buy/sell price increment you want to offer from the current coin price. You can also configure if you want to autocancel a non-filled order or not. Signal bot (designed for pump events) Awesome features included in SignalBot: + Auto StopLoss + Auto TakeProfit + Configure the amount of units you want to sell + Possibility of canceling orders on SignalBot screen + Autocheck for filled orders + Percentage of profit trailer included Bot basic configuration:
SET THE BTC BUY AMOUNT Introduce the amount of BTC you want to spend in the buy order.
SET THE BUY MULTIPLIER This is a way to ensure your orders are filled. Establishes the max price you want to pay for a coin. It's calculated this way: Max price to pay: ASK x BUY MULTIPLIER
SET THE SELL MULTIPLIER Same way as buy multiplier, this is a way to ensure your sell orders are filled. Establishes the max price you want to pay for a coin. It's calculated this way: Min price to sell: BID x SELL MULTIPLIER
SET THE SELL UNITS Set the amount of units of a coin you want the bot to place in the sell order.
How do I configure my API Keys?
Each of our apps have a step by step tutorial that shows how to generate it. You can find it at Settings screen by pressing "GET API KEYS"
Why should I trust ProfitTrading App?
We are aware of all scam that involves cryptocurrencies, specially with some apps. That's why always say: NEVER grant any withdrawal permissions to your API keys to this app or any app that request for it. For free users API Keys are stored on your device, for premium trading bot users, as all the logic is executed on our servers, their keys are encrypted and safely stored while they are needed to manage the bots. Once they are no longer needed, they are deleted.
Top 50 Cryptocurrencies I thought this might be of real help for the ones that are just joining crypto and still want to read. Let’s face it: there are a lot of cryptocurrencies out there, with new ones coming out almost daily and old ones disappearing seemingly just as fast as they appeared. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. If you are new to cryptocurrencies, this is an excellent starting point to learn about each of the top 50 cryptocurrencies (by market cap). Even if you’re a crypto veteran, this is a great resource to reference if you ever get any of the top 50 confused, or if you want to read more about a new coin which has joined the ranks. Our hope is to point you in the right direction, spur your interest to do more research, and steer you away from the potential scams out there (And yes, there are potential scam coins in the top 50!) Here at Invest In Blockchain, we are obsessed with researching the internet for all things crypto. The information found in this post is the result of hundreds of hours of painstaking research by me and other writers on our team. Note that this list is constantly changing and I will do my best to keep it up-to-date, but the top 50 moves almost daily! Please refer to coinmarketcap.com for the latest information on the top 50 cryptocurrencies and their prices. Let’s get started! (Information accurate as of May 23, 2018)
#1 – Bitcoin (BTC)
📷 The king of the crypto world, Bitcoin is now a household name; to many, it is synonymous with “cryptocurrency”. Its purpose is to provide a peer-to-peer electronic version of cash to allow payments to be sent online without the need for a third party (such as Mastercard). The rapid rise in Bitcoin’s price has brought about an explosion of new Bitcoin investors. With the huge increase in interest has come a rise in merchants accepting Bitcoin as a legitimate form of payment. Bitcoin is fast moving towards its goal of becoming a currency accepted worldwide. Bitcoin’s development is led by Bitcoin Core developer Wladimir J. van der Laan, who took over the role on April 8, 2014. Bitcoin’s changes are decided democratically by the community. For an in-depth look at Bitcoin, including an explanation of Bitcoin mining, Bitcoin’s history, an analysis of Bitcoins’ value and a description on how bitcoin actually works, see our comprehensive guide “What is Bitcoin? Everything You Need to Know About Bitcoin, Explained“. For a more detailed description of Bitcoin’s economics, what makes money and how Bitcoin works in the economy as a whole see: “Bitcoin Explained” and “Bitcoin is a Deflationary Currency”.
#2 – Ethereum (ETH)
📷 Ethereum is the revolutionary platform which brought the concept of “smart contracts” to the blockchain. First released to the world in July 2015 by then 21-year-old Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum has quickly risen from obscurity to cryptocurrency celebrity status. Buterin has a full team of developers working behind him to further develop the Ethereum platform. For more background information on Buterin, read our article, “Vitalik Buterin: The Face of Blockchain”. Ethereum has the ability to process transactions quickly and cheaply over the blockchain similar to Bitcoin, but also has the ability to run smart contracts. For future reading on smart contracts, see “What’s the Difference Between Bitcoin and Ethereum”; but for now, think automated processes which can do just about anything. For further reading on Ethereum, including an analysis of the platform’s strengths and future prospects, read “What is Ethereum, Everything You Need to Know Explained“.
#3 – Ripple (XRP)
📷 Ripple aims to improve the speed of financial transactions, specifically international banking transactions. Anyone who has ever sent money internationally knows that today it currently takes anywhere from 3-5 business days for a transaction to clear. It is faster to withdraw money, get on a plane, and fly it to your destination than it is to send it electronically! Not to mention you will be paying exorbitant transaction fees — usually somewhere around 6% but it can vary depending on the financial institution. Ripple’s goal is to make these transactions fast (it only takes around 4 seconds for a transaction to clear) and cheap. The Ripple team currently comprises over 150 people, making it one of the biggest in the cryptocurrency world. They are led by CEO Brad Garlinghouse, who has an impressive resume which includes high positions in other organizations such as Yahoo and Hightail. Check out “What is Ripple” for more information, including a closer look at what they do, controversies and future prospects.
#4 – Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
📷 Bitcoin Cash was created on August 1, 2017 after a “hard fork” of the Bitcoin blockchain. For years, a debate has been raging in the Bitcoin community on whether to increase the block size in the hope of alleviating some of the network bottleneck which has plagued Bitcoin due to its increased popularity. Because no agreement could be reached, the original Bitcoin blockchain was forked, leaving the Bitcoin chain untouched and in effect creating a new blockchain which would allow developers to modify some of Bitcoin’s original programmed features. Generally speaking, the argument for Bitcoin Cash is that by allowing the block size to increase, more transactions can be processed in the same amount of time. Those opposed to Bitcoin Cash argue that increasing the block size will increase the storage and bandwidth requirement, and in effect will price out normal users. This could lead to increased centralization, the exact thing Bitcoin set out to avoid. Bitcoin Cash does not have one single development team like Bitcoin. There are now multiple independent teams of developers. Read “What is Bitcoin Cash” for more information. You can also check out their reddit and official webpage.
#5 – EOS (EOS)
📷 Billed as a potential “Ethereum Killer”, EOS proposes improvements that can challenge Ethereum as the dominant smart contract platform. One main issue EOS looks to improve is the scalability problems which has plagued the Ethereum network during times of high transaction volume, specifically during popular ICOs. A perhaps more profound difference EOS has, compared to Ethereum, is the way in which you use the EOS network. With Ethereum, every time you make modifications or interact with the network, you need to pay a fee. With EOS, the creator of the DAPP (decentralized app) can foot the bill, while the user pays nothing. And if you think about it, this makes sense. Would you want to have to pay every time you post something on social media? No, of course not! In addition to this, EOS has a few other technical advantages over Ethereum such as delegated proof of stake and other protocol changes. Just know that EOS has some serious power under the hood to back up the claim of “Ethereum Killer”. EOS was created by Dan Larrimer who is no stranger to blockchain or start ups. He has been the driving force behind multiple successful projects in the past such as BitShares, Graphene and Steem. For more information on EOS such as how and where to buy EOS tokens, EOS’s vision and potential challenges, see “What is EOS”.
#6 – Litecoin (LTC)
📷 Similar to Bitcoin, Litecoin is a peer-to-peer transaction platform designed to be used as a digital currency. Due to some notable technical improvements, Litecoin is able to handle more transactions at lower costs. Litecoin has been designed to process the small transactions we make daily. Litecoin is sometimes referred to “digital silver” while Bitcoin is known as “digital gold”. This is because traditionally silver was used for small daily transactions while gold was used as a store of wealth and was not used in everyday life. The Litecoin blockchain is a fork from the Bitcoin chain. It was initially launched in 2011 when its founder, Charlie Lee, was still working for Google. Well-known as a cryptocurrency expert, Charlie Lee is backed by a strong development team who appear to be achieving what they set out to do. They have recently achieved a very notable accomplishment with the first successful atomic swap. For an in-depth discussion on what Litecoin does, how it is different than Bitcoin and the team backing up the development, see “What is Litecoin”.
#7 – Cardano (ADA)
📷 Cardano is a smart contract-focused blockchain. It was originally released under the name Input Output Hong Kong by Charles Hoskinson and Jeremy Wood, a few of the early team members of Ethereum, and later rebranded into Cardano. Cardano is trying to fix some of the largest problems the cryptocurrency world which have been causing ongoing issues for years such as scalability issues and democratized voting. They have the potential to challenge Ethereum’s dominance in the smart contract world. Cardano is developing their own programing language similar to Ethereum; however, they are focusing more heavily on being interoperable between other cryptocurrencies. While some cryptocurrencies are all bite but no bark, Cardano is quite the opposite. They are quietly focusing on a strong software which will be completely open-source. Cardano’s team comprises some of the best minds in the industry, and they seek to create a strong foundation which others can build upon for years to come. For up-to-date information on Cardano’s status see their Reddit page or official website. You can also read our article “What is Cardano” to learn more about them.
#8 – Stellar Lumens (XLM)
📷 In a nutshell, Stellar Lumens seeks to use blockchain to make very fast international payments with small fees. The network can handle thousands of transactions a second with only a 3-5 second confirmation time. As you may know, Bitcoin can sometimes take 10-15 minutes for a transaction to confirm, can only handle a few transactions a second and, in turn, has very high transaction fees. If this sounds a lot like Ripple, you’re right! Stellar Lumens was based off of the Ripple protocol) and is attempting to do similar things. Some of Stellar Lumens’ main uses will be for making small daily payments (micropayments), sending money internationally, and mobile payments. Stellar Lumens is focusing on the developing world and, more specifically, the multi-billion dollar industry of migrant workers who send money back to their family in impoverished countries. The Stellar Lumens team is led by Jed McCaleb, who has worked in numerous successful startups in the past such as eDonkey, Overnet, Ripple, and the infamous Mt. Gox. For more information on Stellar Lumens, including the history and what sets Stellar Lumens apart, see “What are Stellar Lumens”. You can also learn about the differences between Stellar Lumens and Ripple.
#9 – TRON (TRX)
📷 As stated in TRON’s whitepaper, “TRON is an attempt to heal the internet”. The TRON founders believe that the internet has deviated from its original intention of allowing people to freely create content and post as they please; instead, the internet has been taken over by huge corporations like Amazon, Google, Alibaba and others. TRON is attempting to take the internet back from these companies by constructing a free content entertainment system. This will enable users to freely store, publish and own data, giving them the power to decide where and how to share. The project is led by founder Justin Sun, who has been listed on the Forbes 30 under 30 list twice (in 2015 and 2017). In addition, Sun is a protégé of Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group, China’s former Ripple representative and the founder of Peiwo APP. Sun has assembled a strong team with heavy hitters including Binshen Tang (founder of Clash of King), Wei Dai (founder of ofo, the biggest shared bicycles provider in China), and Chaoyong Wang (founder of ChinaEquity Group). Sun has also secured the support of a few notable angel investors such as Xue Manzi. For up-to-date information on Tron and further discussion of the technology and team, see “What is Tron” and their website.
#10 – IOTA (MIOTA)
📷 IOTA has seen many of the issues Bitcoin and Ethereum have with the POW (proof-of-work) and POI (proof-of-importance) models and looks to improve them with their revolutionary transaction validation network simply called “tangle”. When issuing a transaction in IOTA, you validate 2 previous transactions. This means you no longer outsource validation to miners which requires wasteful amounts of computing power and usually a large stake of coins. These required resources are, in effect, centralizing the currencies which many believe were created to be decentralized in the first place. With IOTA, the more active a ledger is, the more validation there is. In other words, the more people who use it, the faster it gets. You don’t have to subsidize miners, so there are no fees on transactions. That’s right: zero. The IOTA team has been actively developing blockchain technology since 2011, and created the IOTA foundation and company in 2016. Since its emergence, the team has been continuously growing, attracting exceptional talent from around the world. For more information on IOTA’s team and their revolutionary“tangle” technology, check out “What is IOTA”.
#11 – NEO (NEO)
📷 A leading platform for smart contracts and sometimes referred to as “China’s Ethereum”. NEO (formally Antshares) hopes to digitize many types of assets which were formerly kept in more traditional means, and therefore make it possible to use them in smart contracts. To imagine a potential use case of NEO, think digitizing the title to a house into a smart asset, and then setting up that asset to automatically transfer to another person after payment for the house has been received. This would be, in effect, a simple smart contract. NEO founder Da Hongfei is a leading figure in the cryptocurrency world and has worked on numerous blockchain projects in the past. The development team consists of 6 in-house investors and a large community of third-party developers. For a complete overview of NEO, including the team, history and competitive analysis, check out “What is NEO”.
#12 – Dash (DASH)
📷 Dash (which comes from ‘digital cash’) aims to be the most user-friendly and scalable cryptocurrency in the world. It has the ability to send funds instantly confirmed by “double-send-proof” security with the added functionality of erasable transaction history and the ability to send transactions anonymously. Like Bitcoin, Dash is meant to be used as a digital currency but has some added values such as much faster transaction times and lower fees. For a slightly higher fee, Dash has the added function of “instant send” which allows transactions to be confirmed almost instantly. This is one of the main selling points of Dash because many believe that this feature would allow it to be used in brick and mortar establishments. The Dash development team consists of over 50 members and is led by former financial services professional Evan Duffield. For the latest on Dash, see their official website and reddit page. You can also read “What is Dash” to learn more about the project.
#13 – Monero (XMR)
📷 Monero is a digital currency designed to be used as a completely anonymous payment system. A common misconception with Bitcoin is that it is completely anonymous. In reality, all payments processed on the Bitcoin network are recorded on a public ledger (blockchain), so Bitcoin is actually only partially anonymous or “pseudonymous”. This means that you can, in theory, trace back every transaction a coin has been involved with from its creation. Though users aren’t able to inherently link the public key on the blockchain with the private keys used to store the coins themselves, there will always exist a correlation between the two. Monero has solved this problem by implementing cryptonic hashing of receiving addresses, therefore separating the coin from the address it is going to. This can be hugely valuable for anyone wishing to conceal their purchases. The Monero development team consists of 7 core developers, only two of which are publicly known. There have been over 200 additional contributors to the project and software updates are implemented every six months or so. To learn more about Monero including its competitors and challenges, read “What is Monero”. If you’re thinking about investing in Monero, check out our opinion piece “Should You Invest In Monero?“.
#14 – Tether (UDST)
📷 Tether is a cryptocurrency token issued on the Bitcoin blockchain. Each Tether coin is allegedly backed by one US Dollar. The goal is to facilitate transactions with a rate fixed to the USD. Amongst other things, Tether looks to fix some of the legal issues which can arise when trading cryptocurrencies and it aims to protect people from market volatility. Tether has faced controversy regarding their business model, and some consider it a scam. More info can be seen on reddit posts such as this.
#15 – NEM (XEM)
📷 NEM (New Economy Movement) is the world’s first proof-of-importance (POI) enterprise based on blockchain technology. With a focus on business use cases, the software was built from the ground up with adaptability in mind. NEM’s goal is for companies to use their “smart asset system” to implement customizable blockchains. A smart asset can be almost anything: a cryptocurrency token, a business’s stock or a company’s invoicing and records. Some potential use cases for NEM’s technology include: voting, crowdfunding, stock ownership, keeping secure records, loyalty rewards point programs, mobile payments and escrow services. A list of NEM’s use cases can be found here. The development of NEM is monitored by the Singapore-based NEM Foundation. For more information on what NEM does and what sets NEM apart from its competitors, see “What is NEM”.
#16 – VeChain (VEN)
📷 As described in VeChain’s development plan, the organization’s purpose is to build “a trustfree and distributed business ecosystem based on the Blockchain technology self-circulated and expanding”. They plan to do this by creating an efficient trustless business ecosystem to significantly reduce the wasteful information transfer systems of today. Some of the areas and industries the VeChain platform is focusing on include eliminating counterfeiting in the fashion and luxury industry, food safety tracking systems, digitizing maintenance in the car industry and many other global supply chain processes. For more information on VeChain, see their reddit and website. Read “What is Vechain” to learn about the project, and our investment opinion piece “5 Reasons to Invest in Vechain“.
#17 – Ethereum Classic (ETC)
📷 Ethereum Classic came about after a hard fork of Ethereum in 2016. The fork was a result of the infamous DOA hack where around 50 million dollars worth of Ethereum was stolen due to what was considered an oversight in the code. The blockchain was forked in order to recoup the losses from this attack, but a small portion of the community did not wish to go back and change the original blockchain. Vitalik Buterin, founder of Ethereum, and subsequently the development team chose to go with the hard fork and work on what is now “Ethereum” today. There is a lot of ongoing controversy with Ethereum Classic which can be better described on this reddit thread. For an in-depth discussion of Ethereum Classic, see”What is Ethereum Classic“.
#18 – Binance Coin (BNB)
📷 Binance Coin is the coin used to facilitate operations on the Binance platform, a cryptocurrency exchange that is capable of processing 1.4 million orders per second. The name “Binance” is derived from the combination of the terms “binary” and “finance”, referring to the integration of digital technology and finance. The BNB coin is used to pay exchange fees, withdrawal fees, listing fees, and all other possible transaction expenses on the Binance platform. In order to incentivize new users to do their cryptocurrency trading on Binance, the team is offering discounts when BNB is used to pay fees. The discount will be 50% in the first year, 25% in the second, 12.5% in the third, and 6.25% in the fourth year before the discount ends. Binance was primarily marketed to Chinese cryptocurrency investors at first, but they also have English, Korean, Japanese, French, Spanish, and Russian versions of the platform. For a deeper look into Binance, you can read the whitepaper or check out the trading platform here.
#19 – Bytecoin (BCN)
📷 Bytecoindescribes itself as “a private, decentralized cryptocurrency with with open source code that allows everyone to take part in the Bytecoin network development”. It is the first coin to offer untraceable payments, unlinkable transactions and resistance to blockchain analysis. With Bytecoin, it is possible to send instant transactions anywhere around the world, which are totally untraceable and don’t require additional fees. Bytecoin’s development is community-driven and a list of all of the different community websites can be found here. For more information on Bytecoin, see: “What is Bytecoin“.
#20 – QTUM (QTUM)
📷 QTUM (pronounced Quantum) is an open-source value transfer platform which focuses on mobile decentralized apps or Dapps. QTUM is the world’s first proof-of-stake smart contracts platform. QTUM is meant to be used as both a value transfer protocol, like Bitcoin, and a smart contract platform, like Ethereum. They have a number of technical innovations which some consider to make it superior to Ethereum, and they are focusing on mobile applications. The platform itself is very new. It came about in March 2017, after a highly successful crowdfunding campaign raised them nearly 16 million dollars in only 5 days. QTUM has a small but strong development team and an impressive list of investors backing their ideas. QTUM’s development is lead by the Singapore based QTUM Foundation. For further reading on the background of QTUM and what sets them apart, see “What is QTUM”.
#21 – Zcash (ZEC)
📷 ZCash is a value transfer protocol forked off of the Bitcoin blockchain. ZCash can be used like Bitcoin, with a few added improvements. With “zero cash technology”, ZCash shields both the amount transferred and the senders, making transactions truly anonymous. ZCash is one of the new kids on the block in the world of “private transactions”. An interesting note is that Ethereum is in the process of implementing some of ZCash’s technologies to enable transactions on the Ethereum network to be anonymous as well. ZCash is being developed by the Zerocoin Electric Coin Company. They’ve had some great successes, most notably JP Morgan’s announcement that they would implement Zcash’s privacy technology to Quarum, a technology JP built on Ethereum. Interested in investing in ZCash? Here’s the opinion of one of our writers: Should You Invest In ZCash? ZCash was recently featured on the Radiolab episode The Ceremony.
#22 – OmiseGO (OMG)
📷 “Unbank the Banked” is the slogan of Omise’s online platform OmiseGo and that’s exactly what Omise has set out to do. Founded in 2013 off of the Ethereum blockchain, Omise aims to revolutionize the financial dynamics in Southeast Asia. Omise is targeting individuals and businesses of all sizes by improving the current financial system which is slow, outdated, and inaccessible to most “everyday” people in these countries. With their planned online exchange OmiseGO, Omise seeks to speed up the way money is spent and sent, both domestically and internationally in Southeast Asia and beyond. They have a lot to celebrate too. OmiseGo has been building partnerships in the region and recently partnered with McDonald’s and Credit Saison. Omise has established a strong team of over 130 staff members located in different countries. CEO and founder of Omise, Jun Hasegawa, has been involved in multiple startups and worked for Google for over 16 years. The OmiseGO platform has been endorsed by some of the heavy hitters in the cryptocurrency world such as Vitalik Buterin and Gavin Wood, the co-founders of Ethereum. For more information on what OmiseGO aims to do, see “What is OmiseGo”.
#23 – ICON (ICX)
📷 Fresh off a successful ICO, the Korea-based startup ICON is looking to provide a medium to connect all the different blockchains together. This puts ICON in the same field as Ark, which is attempting to accomplish similar goals. The main concept of ICON is their idea of a “loopchain”. As stated in their whitepaper, a loopchain can be described as a “high-performance blockchain that can provide real-time transaction, which is based on enhanced Smart Contract.” Through ICON, participants will be able to connect to any blockchain without relying on the current centralized exchanges. ICON has a relatively large team from various backgrounds. They have also secured the help of a few notable advisors such as Jason Best and Don Tapscott. For more information on ICON and the work they’re doing, see “What is ICON“.
#24 – Lisk (LSK)
📷 Lisk is a decentralized network, like Bitcoin and Litecoin, which enables developers to deploy their own side chains off the main Lisk blockchain. These side chains are fully customizable blockchains which enable you to change the parameters you want to fit your own blockchain application. This is similar to Ethereum and QTUM in some ways. With Lisk, the main difference is that the customizable blockchains split into their own separate side chains. This saves developers the grueling legwork of designing something from scratch. At the end of the day, side chains are only decentralized databases of blockchain applications. Lisk is being developed by a small but quickly growing Berlin-based team. They are led by co-founders Max Kordek and Olivier Beddows who are veterans in the cryptocurrency and development world. For a thorough look into Lisk including more on what Lisk does, its competitors, challenges and teams, see “What is Lisk”. You can also check out our case study of an accountant who invested all his life savings in Lisk: “Accountant Invests All in Lisk”.
#25 – Zilliqa – (ZIL)
📷 Zilliqa is a blockchain platform which focuses on solving the problem of scaling on public blockchains. With Zilliqa’s network, the number of transactions increases at a linear rate to the number of nodes. This means that as nodes increase, so will its ability to handle high transaction volume. Zilliqa has already run a successfultest on their network, where they were able to achieve 1,200 transactions per second with only 2,400 nodes. Zilliqa also is the first blockchain to successfully integrate “sharding” into a public blockchain. This concept is extremely useful in improving the rate of scalability, bandwidth and performance in blockchains. Sharding, in effect, splits nodes into “shards” which can then conduct micro-transactions in each blockchain block. In addition to this, Zilliqa claims to be more energy-efficient to mine. They also plan to implement dapps into their platform in the future. For more information on Zilliqa, see their website and reddit. Our article “What is Zilliqa” can provide you with an overview of the project.
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